Saturday, 15 February 2014

Precautions in the dark.

Today’s blog is in continuation with the last one (Winter Safety). Today I am sharing a note from my office colleague from Norway. Where shorter days and restricted sunlight pose a unique challenge. So, here is her view on personal safety in the dark.


In Oslo, Norway, where I live the days are very short at this time of the year. So it is dark when I go to work and dark when I go home. I normally travel by train and have 10 minutes to walk to the train from home. My winter coat is black so you can imagine that it is hard for motorist to see me unless I wear my reflective gear.  

In wintertime it is dark when I go to work and dark when I go home. 

Oslo 20th December : sun rise at 09.17 and sun set at 15:11. 

If you wear a reflector band or vest you may reduce the probability of getting hit by a car by 85%. A person wearing a reflector band is visible at distance of 140 meters. Without a reflector band the person can only be seen by the driver within 30 meters. In fact the driver will have 10 seconds instead of 2 to evaluate the situation.

35 % of all pedestrian collisions happens at night. Norway: During the past 5 years 24 pedestrians have lost their lives and 90 persons got seriously injured.The UK: 250 deaths and serious injuries happens on the hard shoulders of the  UK’s motorways each year. Motorists at the side of the road can be seen from up to four times as far if they are wearing a high-visibility vest.

Ideally the reflector band should be worn at knee height length to absorb the most possible light from the car’s headlights. Make sure your are visible from all angles. Scratches will reduce the ability to reflect light, moreover reflector vests will loose their effect after wash. Make sure to buy new reflector gear once a year.

  • For walks/runs when it is dark
  • When walking your dog at night
  • When you are at the shoulders of the motorways-use a vest day and night!
  • When bicycling at night/evening
Make sure your dog, friends and family use appropriate reflector gear too.

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