Hi viz or not to hi viz

Is it REALLY needed?

41 to 58 of 58 messages
15/11/2011 at 11:13

Why take the risk of not wearing it?

 I'd rather be safe than sorry, lying on the road thinking, damn, if only I'd worn something more visable.  I also wear hi vis/reflective arm bands when out walking the dogs after dark, who have refelective harnesses so cars see them too.  Why take the risk?

17/11/2011 at 12:03
pretty much all my running gear has reflective parts on it - i have made sure the winter gear I have bought this year has plenty.  Got one of those snappy reflective band things to wear on my arm as well.  I figure that on the pavements you are effectively a pedestrian and should only cross the roads when it is safe to do so anyway but being a little more visible is certainly not going to hurt.
Edited: 17/11/2011 at 12:04
17/11/2011 at 17:06
I tend to run when dawn breaks, so High viz is perfect for the low lights, but as Evie says, why take the risk?

Plus I like looking like a Banana whilst out running!!
17/11/2011 at 17:43

It’s the person that makes the difference, not the clothes. Unless you are running in the road then high viz is fashion not function. Most people I know don’t buy a pair of trainers based on colour.

I have nothing against high viz, but colour is bottom of my list in terms of clothing choice.

cougie    pirate
17/11/2011 at 18:18
I think I've bought my last 3 pairs of trainers based on colour !
17/11/2011 at 23:19

Rob Cooper 9 wrote (see)

It’s the person that makes the difference, not the clothes. Unless you are running in the road then high viz is fashion not function. Most people I know don’t buy a pair of trainers based on colour.

I have nothing against high viz, but colour is bottom of my list in terms of clothing choice.


I'd rather the person behind the wheel didn't crash into me whilst I cross the street.

I would never have described hi vis as fashion, but what would I know.   Certainly the armbands I wear walking coupled with the dog's reflective harnesses are a look, lol.

18/11/2011 at 14:32
Never used to wear high viz when running off road, but ive had 2 near misses and a hit already this winter so far on the pavements, so now its high viz every time.

It might well not have made a difference in any of my 3 situations this year, but ive decided to make myself seen in the hope that maybe i can stay alive longer.

One of my near misses involved a motor vehicle that swung across a footpath into a driveway without warning, presumingly not having seen me. So i have to think that hi viz would have helped.
Another involved a cyclist without lights coming the other way round a corner, and the third, and thankfully the one with full contact was with someone who came out of their garden gate unannounced straight into my path ;-p

Certainly cant say its a fashion statement for me. My high viz consists of the bright yellow vest with reflective strips from the boot of my car.

Definitely not something id be wearing to be trendy !

18/11/2011 at 15:47

I come from a rock climbing background with some 20 years experience. Over that time I climbed thousands of routes with a rope and several hundred without one. The reason I climbed some without a rope was because it gave me freedom of movement and some excitement to literally be making life or death choices. I never fell off. Why? Luck or good judgement?

I’ve been running for a similar amount of time. Crossing thousands of roads, hundreds of them in the dark with no high viz. The reason I ran at night without high viz was that it was never in my kit bag and I felt confident I could cross roads. I never got ran over or had a near miss. Why? Luck or good judgement?

If I suddenly stop posting on the forum then you will know my luck ran out. If I don’t then you will know it wasn’t luck.

Edited: 18/11/2011 at 16:20
18/11/2011 at 17:07
Well just wish i had that judgement that told me someone was going to swing straight into an opening without indicating or slowing down.

Or that someone was going to walk straight out of a hidden garden opening straight into my path.

Still guess we cant all be good judges of what acts of complete randomness could occur
19/11/2011 at 13:12

I think they're is some misconception about hi-vis gear.  Hi-vis on its own, as has been said, is for daylight / low light conditions.  It's actually less effective in headlights.....white is far more reflective.  However, if you want to be really seen at night in headlights, then you need something with retro-reflective  tape  / logos on it........the colour of the garment is then irrelevant. 

I have to run down lanes with no lighting.  During the day I wear a hi-vis pink or white top. At night I wear anything I like, as long as it has retro-reflective tape or logos on it 

19/11/2011 at 22:58
yeh true polly,

I wear a high viz vest but its covered in reflective strips.

Good for day or night
21/11/2011 at 21:53
I have some litte badges made of relective material which I can move from one item of clothing to teh next to make everything I have Hi-viz if i need it!
WFB
22/11/2011 at 13:23
I would frame the original question differently: can anyone tell me a good reason not to wear reflective/high viz gear? Because you look like a lemon isn't an answer that works for me BTW

Polly has it right I reckon as do the others that point out the gear doesn't grant the wearer any special immunity from the consequences of collision with a vehicle of any kind. Best to assume that their wipers don't work, the windscreen is misted up and that they are suffering from some of the after effects from drinking ten pints of wife beater.
Edited: 22/11/2011 at 13:34
24/11/2011 at 21:52

Suprising comments on this thread!

I wonder if the people who don't bother wearing hi vis/reflective stuff are the same "it'll never happen to me" types that are reckless in other areas of life.

Surely anyone who's been running for long enough knows that you want to be as visible as possible, so that some goon cyclist,walker, or fellow runner doesn't wipe you out. I often see fools out running in black clothing in the dark, genius.

Yes, we can run on paths, but you'll always have roads you have to cross or avoid motorists exiting their houses.

As for the argument that when you're walking you don't wear hi vis...well firstly I know some people who do, but obviously when you're walking you're travelling a lot slower, so you have a lot more time to react.

I personally know of a family friend who was knocked down just last year out walking, wearing black in the dark...would he have been seen better in hi vis/reflective? That's not even a question worth posing, the answer is so obvious.

Edited: 24/11/2011 at 21:56
25/11/2011 at 00:55
Having to run in the evenings occasionally, I find that the biggest issue where I live is people turning onto driveways - the last thing they will look for is a fast moving runner on the pavement.

I therefore make sure that I am fully visible with a mixture of high vis/reflective/flashing light armband. No excuse then for me not to be seen or for others to see me.


25/11/2011 at 08:26
'as visible as possible'

Well said.
25/11/2011 at 17:46

Day Glo Joes story...

Joes a novice runner and after reading about the importance of Hi Viz on a well known runners forum decides to go out and make a few purchases. He doesn’t do things by half, so ends up with jacket, shorts and trainers all in luminous yellow with reflective trim. He adds a head torch and arm strobes as the finishing touches. Off he goes for his first night time run. He lives in the countryside so sets off down the road, with his back to the traffic, confident in the knowledge that everybody can see him and so they can all avoid him or stop. After the first mile he turns off the road into a residential area. He moves onto the footpath (well actually a cycle path, but that doesn’t matter as nobody cycles at night). As he wants to try and set a PB he fly’s down the path cutting every corner and staying as close to the wall as he can, “bump”, what was that – no time to stop, there’s a PB at stake here. After another mile he zooms out of the side road then back along the country road home. What a pleasant run and all those motorists patiently waiting or waving and shouting encouragement to him – or at least that’s what he thinks they said as he couldn’t hear them over his iPod.

Ninja Fool Jules story...

Jules is a shy type, she doesn’t like drawing attention to herself and so always wears black when running. She’s been a runner for many years so knows the risks and picks her route carefully. It’s not going to be her daytime route, but rather one which avoids road crossings as much as possible and keeps clear of driveways or cycle paths. Off she goes alert to traffic and others who can’t see her – she knows she’s pretty much invisible, so stops at every road and driveway, goes wide round each bend and really listens out for others. There’s one particular road that she crosses which is one way – she checks both as it wouldn’t be the first time someone got this wrong. She always looks a long way ahead and takes care for hidden footpaths or driveways (although there aren’t that many on the dual carriageway she’s running next to at the moment).

If you believe high viz is helpful, but not the only way to stay safe at night then read this:

Ending 1: After a steady run she arrives home safely, looking forwards to tomorrows daytime park run where she can chase that PB.

If you believe that high viz is essential kit and that only an idiot would choose not to wear it then read this:

Ending 2: Back on her own street she mentally starts to relax and switch off. Just at that point another runner dressed in luminous yellow, head torch and strobes leaps out of from the cycle path ahead, she doesn’t notice him in time and he clips her as he passes, but he doesn’t seem to notice. The knock sends her off balance, she tumbles and lands in the road, just as a car is passing...as the car skids her only thought is ‘if only I’d worn high viz’.

BE SAFE HOWEVER YOU RUN.

26/11/2011 at 11:05

I'm with you Rob, whatever gear you're wearing does not give you invincibility against the carelessness of others. I don't wear high viz stuff and I rely on my good sense when crossing roads, running wide around corners and I always get out of the way of oncoming pedestrians. If I know I will be running on roads without paths, then I do have a headtorch with a backlight that I use for night trails that I would use, but I still move over when I hear a car coming.

None of the incidents people have described seem like they could have been avoided by high viz or reflective gear, but it is individual choice, but as runners, we need to remember that everyone else on the roads are idiots and as superior beings we must acknowledge their stupidity by avoiding them

Glad to see you're still being lucky Rob


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