Many countries in Europe insist that motorists carry at least one reflective vest in their vehicle and some countries insist on carrying two reflective vests. In other countries, the law dictates that there must be one vest for each occupant. In these countries, you will be subject to an on the spot fine should you be found flouting the law.
In the UK alone, nine people die on the roads every day. In the States it is around 100 people per day, in Australia it is around 3 per day and in India, it is close to 300 per day. India’s road death toll accounts for 15% of worldwide road deaths. What is surprising is the high percentage of people who die while waiting for their vehicle to be towed or repaired, or who exit their vehicle after an accident and are unseen by other motorists. Whether your car has broken down or you have been involved in an accident, the situation is stressful and you may not be as vigilant as you would normally be.In countries such as France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain, you are obliged to wear reflective vests if your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident and you are stranded with the vehicle. You need to keep the reflective safety vest in the car, as you need to put it on BEFORE you exit your vehicle.
Police enforcement is rigorous and there are frequent road blocks checking that you have the required vest and warning triangle which are obligatory in many countries. If you are travelling to a new destination, it is important that you investigate exactly what the laws are pertaining to that country, to avoid traffic violations. If you are flying into one of these countries and hiring a car, make sure the car hire company is supplying the reflective gear. It is surprising how many of the small companies don’t. It doesn’t really matter where you live in the world, it makes perfect sense that, should you break down on the highway or have an accident and obviously need to get out of your vehicle, that you should be as visible as possible.
Policeman, ambulance personnel, firemen, road workers and anyone who has to spend time on or near a road, must wear reflective clothing in order to safeguard their lives and the lives of others. It is therefore logical, if you are a road user, that you should do the same just in case an emergency situation arises.