Needing more light to see as we age

Vision changes as we age, and around age 20, a person’s need for illumination doubles every 13 years. As the need for illumination increases, so does the need for high visibility clothing. Without adequate PPE, the safety of pedestrians, construction workers, and law enforcement who share the road with drivers is at risk.

Visual systems that affect how we see

We have two different visual systems: foveal vision and peripheral vision. Foveal vision is sharp, often in full colour. It is what we assume we see most of the time. However, our peripheral vision is not as well defined.

Our peripheral vision helps us see outside of our central gaze, but is surprisingly low in resolution compared to foveal vision. Our peripheral vision is more sensitive to movement and contrast, as opposed to the high detail we see in our foveal vision. This means that when driving, for example, we are more likely to see objects in our peripheral vision if they are reflective and bright.

This is a key reason why high visibility clothing is so crucial on the road and in other low-light situations where machinery is operated.

Change blindness

Change blindness is something that affects all of us. When we try to view an entire scene, our brain receives too much information and cannot process the full image. Our eyes are only able to focus on one, small area at once.

When scanning the environment, we turn our heads toward items that first appeared in our peripheral vision so we can see them better. High visibility products help make object identification quicker and can help us spot a pedestrian darting out across the road, or a worker standing amongst trees.

Seeing white clothing at night

A study determined that drivers can move more than 500 feet (152 meters) before recognizing an object and properly maneuvering vehicles at only 48 kilometres (30 miles) per hour! There is often a misconception that wearing white at night makes it easier for drivers to identify and avoid hitting pedestrians. This is simply not true. High visibility wear is your best chance of being seen in low light conditions.


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