Protecting yourself is not a game: when should you wear a reflective vest?

Wearing the reflective vest at the right times can save your life, as well as save you from trouble with the law. Taking all the regulations into account is imperative and, even if you do not drive a car, there are cases where you must also equip yourself with a quality vest. Being an informed citizen on when and where you should wear the vest, what can happen if you don’t, and why it’s a good idea will help you with all of this.

Reflective vests are garments that, although everyone knows them and knows their importance, few use them in their day to day and to use them, they do it out of obligation, without having complete information about why it is so important to use them and what they are the legal implications that come with its disuse.

A vest is not a fashionable garment and should not even be considered, by people forced to wear it, as an alternative or a tedious obligation. Using a reflective vest is synonymous with protecting your life and that of other people as well, it means preventing accidents and complying with the laws of various countries in the world.

Despite the fact that at certain times its use is optional and depends on each person, there are situations in which putting it on is completely mandatory, without buts, exceptions or flexibilities.

When is it necessary to wear a reflective vest?

A reflective vest approved for safety must be used in various situations and by different people on a mandatory basis. Knowing when this is required will save you annoyance with the officers and will also avoid the risks to which people are exposed while on the road.

If you travel by motorcycle or bicycle

The laws that dictate the use of the vest on motorcycles and bicycles depend on one thing, the provision of approved reflective elements that the regulation determines on the means of transport used.

In the case of motorcycles, as these have lights, it is not really necessary for the motorcyclist to wear a reflective vest. However, it is recommended to use it in low visibility conditions for extra protection and alert to other drivers.

If it is a bike, the use of the vest is completely necessary if for some reason you do not have any of the stipulated elements such as the white front light, the red front light and the homemade retro-reflector. However, because the use of these items is required by law, you could run into problems if you do not carry any of them.

In accidents or when the car fails

If you find yourself stranded because your car ran out of gas or had a fault and you need to get out of it, you should not do so if you are not wearing the reflective vest. This is part of the road traffic regulations and not doing it can compromise your safety and get you in trouble. If you are the victim of an accident, the same law applies. This could be summed up by saying that anyone getting out of a car, regardless of the reason, must wear a reflective vest.

Pedestrian circulation on the road

Pedestrians are not required to wear a reflective vest if they are walking on the sidewalk or through crosswalks, no matter what time you are moving. If you use a scooter or skateboard, for example, and you move at low speed on the sidewalk, you will not need to wear a reflective vest either.

However, carrying one becomes mandatory at the moment in which the road must be traveled, regardless of whether it is a short space of time. By doing this, you are entering car territory, and while a driver should always be vigilant, those behind the wheel are not counting on a pedestrian walking down the road in the middle of the night. If the driver does not see the pedestrian in time this could lead to an accident, but this could have been avoided 

Certain professions

Some work areas, unfortunately, come with constant exposure to risks, and in the case of some, this danger consists of being on the road next to cars with no protection other than a vest. This is the case of traffic officers and also some blue-collar workers who are in charge of paving the roads, painting partitions and crossings, or making repairs in sewers, for example. People who work in this way will always need to wear a vest and, unlike the other cases, this is not usually limited to night hours.

What could happen if it is not used?

There will always be a rebel who decides not to wear the vest, however, this decision in addition to affecting himself, can also affect others. The probability of being a victim of accidents increases and this can, in turn, cause accidents to other drivers.

However, the consequences will not only be physical, as there may also be negative legal results in all countries where the use of the vest is mandatory. In the case of Spain, the mere fact of riding in the car without having a reflective vest in the glove compartment can lead to a fine of up to 200 euros along with the loss of 3 of the 12 points on the driving license. The latter can also lead to the temporary or permanent cancellation of the document.

When is it advisable to use it?

There are times when it is not necessary to use one but it is advisable to do so. For example, if you go on night walks with your pet and your child, even if you will always go on the sidewalk, it is a good idea to get noticed to avoid cyclists or drivers who cannot see you.

Fortunately, there are reflective vests in small sizes for children aged 4 and upwards, approximately, and, in addition to that, dogs can also have one of these garments that can protect them from the cold, rain and also make them visible at any time.

Being safe on the road is something that is priceless, so take your time thinking about the best reflective vest for you and commit to safeguarding your life and the lives of others.


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