High Visibility Safety Vests Can Save Lives

Russell M. Angelo

I am a firm believer in putting safety first. After building knowledge on the dangers of car accidents, there is no reason why proper attire should be avoided when you are working in limited visibility situations. For example, a high visibility safety vest could just be thing that saves your life on a foggy bike ride to school, or a rainy construction day on the highway. Let me explain…

We all know the purpose of a highly visible safety vest. They are to protect us and keep us visible in situations with limited visibility. Now, clearly a vest cannot put up a literally fight against things like oncoming cars. It can, however, make you easily spotted by drivers with their fluorescent and reflective features. These protective clothing items are grouped into different classes (one, two, three, and “e”). Each situation it is just as vitally important to have one worn across your chest.

Class one: this is the lowest level of highly visible safety vests. They have the least amount of coverage that is measured by square inches for the amount of background and reflective surfaces used. They provide great protection for people riding their bikes on a foggy day or traveling on foot in times of limited visibility. It can be a scary thing riding along the side of the road on your bike when cars are whizzing behind you and it’s pouring out and all times after dark. It is a safe idea to wear a vest with reflective surfaces and bright colors so you can be spotted in any weather condition at any time of day. You stand a far greater chance at being hit by a car if the driver can’t see you.

Class two: this is used to protect construction workers as they work on roadsides. Although this class targets users working along medium traffic speeds and conditions, they are still there for the same purpose. They will have more coverage for their users and provide a heavier level of protection. Deaths reported relating to construction workers are way too high. A hi-viz safety vest is one of the best things a construction worker can wear on the job when protecting themselves from oncoming traffic that they may not be particularly looking out for (as they are focused on their work project at hand).

Class three: this is where it is most important to wear your high visibility safety vest. People that wear these vests are involved with a more dangerous level of work and more coverage and fluorescent/reflective surface area coverage is crucially important. They may be working on busy highways, or even worse busy highways during the dark or bad weather. While speeds are reduced and signs are up warning drivers of construction, we wouldn’t be warned of fines for hitting construction workers if it wasn’t an issue. You just have to wear a highly visible vest if this is your line of work. You life literally depends on it.

Please be careful and wear a highly visible safety vest on the road whether you are directing 5 mile an hour traffic or doing road work on highway 9. After all, the last thing you want to do is put your life in danger when a simple vest would have the done job.

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