Thursday, August 14, 2014
On Wearing Bright Clothing While Walking
We are often advised to wear bright clothing while walking, especially when walking at night. This is so important that the Department of Transportation, in its reports on collisions involving people walking, classifies victims according to the clothing they were wearing: "mixed," "dark," "light," or "missing" ("missing??"). There are also a couple categories for different types of reflective clothing.
In Seattle, lots more people wearing dark or "mixed" clothing are hit while walking than people wearing light clothing, and in 2011, only six people wearing reflective clothing were hit while walking (Seattle Department of Transportation 2011 Traffic Report, p. 7-21).
I do see a lot of people walking around at night in dark clothing. For example, people coming out of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet at night often wear dark clothing. This is also true of symphony patrons at Benaroya Hall.
For the sake of safety, these organizations should provide reflective vests for patrons to wear as they walk out onto the street.
It would also be advisable for those of us who park our cars on neighborhood streets to keep reflective vests in our cars to wear when walking to our homes.
The Traffic Report mentioned above does not give any information about the color of cars involved in collisions. I have noticed a lot of dark-colored cars driving around at night. Seattle Department of Transportation should look into this.