The term HIGH VIS is talking about the Colour and the term REFLECTIVE is talking about the silver tape, piping or fabric panels on an item. Many people I talk to get this mixed up
As safety garments progress technically, so does the tape they must use. There are many colours that can now be reflective, even black, however the reflection is poor and silver still outshines them, pardon the pun!
Very few people realise whether they’re horse riders, cyclists, runners, dog walkers etc; that it's the reflective piping/tape that works, at nigh time, not hi-vis. Reflective tape reflects the head lights, whereas hi-vis only increases visibility in dark conditions if the cars have ultra violet light in their headlights - which very few do. Items with LED lights and reflective tape are a great idea for use at night.
However, hi-vis does have its place and can help increase visibility at times when the light is dull, or during normal light where people glimpse it and slow down in preparation. It can also be useful if you're in an area with low flying aircraft - as they can see you and then try and avoid coming too close. Also, if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident whilst out hacking in the countryside, your clothing can aid the rescue and air ambulance teams to espy you and get to you quicker.
As you can see from the photo below, the horse is the same colour as the background, but the Hi Vis pink is the opposite colour, so stands out magnificently. Easily catching the eye.
Don't be a DARK HORSE
Too many people ride out in the dark thinking they are safe because their horse is wearing a hi-vis exercise sheet and they've got their bright yellow hat band on. However if these items do not have a significant amount of reflective reflective tape or panelling insitu, you will not show up any further in advance than you would by standing in car headlights (which is not advised).
The idea behind good quality hi-visibility apparel is that it has been designed to make you, the wearer, fluoresce during the day and reflect at night. The items are available in a myriad of fluorescent colours with added shapes and reflective strips. This makes it easier for pedestrians and drivers to see you in most weather conditions. But it is difficult for drivers to see you in rain (high quality tape is imperative here), dull, foggy or sunny weather. To be seen at night by drivers you will need to wear something that is also reflective, both on yourself and your horse.
Did you know that a horse has the ability to camouflage itself into the shadow of the hedgerows and trees? So, if you're riding down a tree-lined lane with no hi-vis on you, or your horse, you will be virtually invisible.
Believe it or not, it is just as dangerous to ride out on the road in summer as it is in the winter, yet riders seem to wear hi vis more in the winter? At Equisafety we try to teach as many riders about the importance of wearing high viz all year round.
Do you think a driver see the horse and rider in time? Through the dapple shade that can be quite blinding? THINK! Always wear Equisafety Hi Vis when out hacking, what ever the time of year.