Reflective Materials

 High Visibility Clothing

High visibility clothing was first trialled in the mid-1960s on the railways of Scotland. It proved effective, with correctly clothed individuals being easy to see at a distance of half a mile, given reasonable weather conditions. The high visibility clothing, consisting merely of an orange vest in these early days, was soon used issued to many railway workers, and the concept of high visibility clothing was developed and used in other industries. 

Specifications: en iso 20471

Studies of accidents involving motorcycles and pushbikes have shown that high visibility clothing greatly reduces accidents, though it does not eliminate then entirely. Simply being more visible to other traffic on the road meant that drivers of cars did not inadvertently violate the cyclist’s right of way.

High visibility clothing on a cyclist allows them to be seen at a greater distance during idea daylight conditions, and improves visibility during wet or darker conditions. But the orange or yellow fluorescent colours provided only part of the required safety improvement.

en iso 20471 is the safety specifications for High Visibility materials.

Reflective Materials

Reflective materials offer an improvement over bright, fluorescent clothing. The human eye is automatically drawn to movement and brighter light as well as those brighter colours. Adding reflective materials to an already bright fluorescent material increases visibility and safety. Any light that shines in the reflective material worn by an individual is easy for other to see, this makes the person much easier to see.

Bicycle riders who wear reflective materials on their ankles and legs have increased visibility. The physical action of pedalling the bike moves these reflective materials, and the movement stands out against most backgrounds.


Flashing lights, as seen on forklift and other industrial vehicles, increase further visibility.