Heightened risk of accident for pedestrians

26 Nov 2023

Reflectors in the dark increase visibility

As the days are beginning to draw in and many journeys are made at dusk or at night, the risk of being overlooked increases, especially for pedestrians. “As the days become shorter, the pedestrian accident figures shoot up, as many are unaware of the dangers of poor visibility,” warns DEKRA accident researcher Andreas Schäuble. “Many people assume that if they can see the car headlights, that the driver can see them. Yet, this is a mistake that can end fatally.”

The situational awareness of motorists can be considerably restricted even in well-lit streets.

It is frequently the case that a vast variety of different light sources and constant changes between light and dark cause confusion. In addition, there is the general poor sight of people at night. The upshot is that pedestrians can be easily overlooked, especially if they are wearing dark, low contrast clothing or are crossing the road at poorly lit points.
A help is anything that can be seen from a distance. Bright, contrasting clothing and reflective elements attached to clothes or bags are worth virtually half a life insurance. Bright, reflective elements on shoes are particularly effective as they stand out especially when the feet are in motion.
“The best places to cross the road are at traffic lights, zebra crossing or pedestrian-specific markings on the road, and don’t forget to take the direct route that quickly takes you out of the danger zone,” recommends Schäuble. In contrast, points to avoid would be any with poor visibility such as those between parked cars or with other obstacles that block sight.

Also think, as an adult, that you must set an example for children.