Jul 08 2014 0 Comments July 2014

Ninety percent of accidents involving cyclists and vehicles occur because the driver says he didn’t see the cyclist – SMIDSY – the “sorry mate, I didn’t see you” excuse. When choosing the right clothing and gear for safe cycling, ensure that reflective clothing is right at the top of your list.

Whether you are cycling in conditions with excellent visibility or cycling in mist or at night, reflective clothing and reflective stickers are essential for your safety.  Studies have shown that black clothing with the right reflective gear or strips is just as effective as wearing fluorescent high visibility gear and, when it comes to night visibility, reflective clothing wins.

One good point to remember is that you must keep your reflective clothing clean.  If the reflective areas are covered in mud or just general grime, they are not going to do the job they are designed for.


A reflective vest is an essential item when it comes to road safety.   They are manufactured in a variety of styles and colours, to suit most pockets.  Reflective vests can be a full garment covering your upper body or they can be the belt vest type.  The reflective safety vest is a good option to wear over any item of clothing and, as it is fully adjustable, it can be used over a thin shirt or over a much thicker jacket, while still giving you great visibility.


Reflective belts and harnesses are also important when trying to stay safe on the road.  However, don’t wear a reflective belt as your only safety item, as it can be blocked from view by your handle bars or your clothes may roll over it and cover it.   A reflective harness is a great choice as it covers the whole of your torso with reflective strips.


These snap bands can be used on your wrists, arms or ankles.  You can even attach them to your bike for extra visibility.


Reflective gloves are an excellent addition to safety while cycling.  Motorists can see your hand signals clearly and therefore know of your intention to turn before you do so. They also aid visibility at the front of your bike.

There are various types, from fully lined gloves for those cycling in cold climates, to fingerless, lightweight gloves for those pedalling in warmer climates.


There are many reflective jackets out there which are not only windproof and waterproof but also keep you visible to other road users.  The best jackets have reflective spots on the arms and shoulders, as well as on the front, sides and back of the jacket.

Just remember to wear reflective clothing underneath your jacket, in case you need to remove it.


There are thousands of different items out there to choose from.  When deciding which one is best for you, look at the reflective strips on the clothing and make sure they are present on the sleeves, shoulders, back and front. 


Another item to increase your visibility on the road.  They come in a variety fabrics, colours and designs. 


A motorist is much more likely to notice a moving object than a stationary one.  The pedalling motion means that your legs are in constant motion, therefore a reflective ankle band gives you good visibility in all traffic situations.


In a study on cycling accidents conducted at the Queensland University of Technology, it was found that high-visibility clothing on its own was not sufficient to ensure safety on the road.  Apart from wearing reflective vests or reflective belt vests, it was recommended that cyclists should wear reflective ankle bands and reflective leg bands around the knee area.  This was suggested because when pedalling, those areas are in constant motion and therefore most likely to be instantly picked up by drivers.


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