ancient wrote: I don't know of any research into HiViz use on the roads which demonstrates a reduction in incident rate or an increase in safety, do you? My understanding is that whilst tests prove that they definitely can be seen earlier . . .
That research I linked is some of the best done. That's not my view https://ambulancevisibilityblog.wordpre ... ng-safety/ Emergency workers and HiVis clothing – our perception of safety may be dangerously flawed!
Posted on March 19, 2012 by John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility) Just how how safe are we as emergency workers at an incident scene when stepping out onto the road ? Our on-road activities are an integral part of life in an ambulance/EMS, police, fire or rescue response. We pull-on a ‘safety’ vest or fluorescent jacket over our uniforms and then start work, trusting our lives to the passive conspicuity built into a piece of clothing that is specially designed and officially sanctioned for use day & night in hazardous situations.
Over the years there has been a vast amount of detailed research undertaken, along with changing OH&S legislation and recent occupational education, all reinforcing that emergency workers can substantially increase their on-road ‘safety’ margin by wearing a fluorescent/reflective vest. Regardless, emergency workers should always concentrate on maintaining a high level of situational awareness at incidents and never, ever turn their back on traffic. As a group, all workers have been repeatedly reassured that protective clothing continuously radiates a spectrum of colour enhanced conspicuity through 360 degrees. I too have been guilty of always believing in this dictum (albeit somewhat nervously and with occasional reservations) but after reading a recent email sent by Malcolm Palmer, I am not so sure anymore!
This research project was different: – Unlike most earlier studies, the test participants were not given specific instructions to search for the key visual elements. The test participants provided a running commentary as they drove around the track and were interviewed later after the drive. The research results demonstrated that unlike earlier research, road workers were often detected only at short distances, sometimes as low as 25 to 45 meters (27-49 yards). The road workers were also found to be less than conspicuous, even when wearing high-visibility clothing. The workers that were interviewed for the study were also likely to greatly over-estimate their personal levels of conspicuity.
Even more surprising was the fact that greater than 50% of the test-driver participants in their everyday driving (off the test track) did not expect to see people around a vehicle when its warning lights were activated! This amazing outcome very much flies in the face of most common beliefs.
Reading this important study has certainly changed my perceptions about my conspicuity and it is definitely a report that will change common assumptions in others about their own personal safety. This report document should be widely circulated to your colleagues, around your local stations and throughout your agency’s administration.
For pedestrians - great, I'm all in favour - as long as they don't imagine it will help them. To quote Sussex Uni advice to the police: "It's a uniform, not a forcefield" Don't expect
to be seen
, don't expect
a driver to know
what they're seeing, don't expect
them to react
the way you want or expect. For cyclists? Probably rear-facing is beneficial - it makes me smile/groan when I see cyclists wearing a ricksack over their hi-viz . . . For motorcyclists? Meh. Anything over a moped / small scooter it is a waste of time. Be proactive, don't wait for the driver to possibly see you. Use active positioning to attract attention. Even on the smaller machines, a normal waistcoat is a waste of time.