How many times are you driving along a very dark road and suddenly pass a pedestrian that you did not see until the last minute? Chances are that person was in dark clothing without reflective strips. It seems intuitive that we should make sure we are visible when walking along a road. However, I suspect that most of us rarely think about how we look to oncoming care. All too often, we assume as we walk along a road that we are safe if we can see the cars coming down the road. We forget that that in the dark many people may have problems seeing where the edge of the road is. This may be because of visual problems, road conditions, or weather. It is not enough to assume the driver will see us. As a pedestrian, we must make sure that we are visible. There are several ways to do this: bring a flash light, use a blinking light such as the one the bicyclists use, or use clothing with reflective tape. I like the idea of a reflective wrist band because I don't have to worry about dead batteries and it fits easily into a purse or coat pocket.
Night-time is not the only time that motorists have visibility issues. At sunset, when the sun is still low in the horizon it produces glare. This glare makes it very difficult for the motorist to see pedestrians on the roadside- particularily is the sun is directly behind the pedestrian. this is where situational awareness is helpful. For instance, when crossing a road, do not assume the driver of an oncoming car will see you if the sun is setting behind you.
Parents, most children carry backpacks and many have reflective tape on their packs or shoes. However, it never hurts to remind the children that motorists may have a difficult time seeing them and these few pieces of advice may be very helpful.