© Norman Sperling, February 20, 2014
We all appreciate the safety advantage of highly-reflective dayglo-type vests and such. They really do make their wearers more visible, and more noticeable to people not specifically seeking them. I’m confident that that clothing helps safety.
Many people who aren’t required to wear them use them anyway, such as my fellow bicyclists. We want maximum visibility to drivers who aren’t always mindful of bike riders.
But that clothing shouldn’t be so industrially-ugly! The current offerings mostly use straight lines that could just as easily outline the girders of a building. They look as if their specifications were written by a mechanic.
Hand the same materials to clothing designers and see what they come up with. It has to be catchy for safety, so about the same amount of dayglo-type fabric should be exposed. But areas might get enhanced with thin dark borders. And the shapes could take on many stylish flights of fancy and art - look at what they do with spandex for bikers.
I don’t see why safety vests can’t be made good-looking as well as functional. That would lure more people to use them more often, improving safety. And it should help workers who are obligated to use them do so less grudgingly.