When you’re driving at night, you probably know that it’s harder to see people on the sides of the roads. You can only really see what’s in the path of your headlights. When someone’s out of range, it’s nearly impossible to see them coming.
For pedestrians, this is extremely dangerous. It doesn’t help when they’re closer to a vehicle, either, since as the vehicle moves forward, the light beam continues closer to the vehicle. Essentially, unless a person is within a specific angle of the headlights, the driver has little to no chance of seeing him or her before it’s too late.
The good news is that people who are further away from vehicles give drivers more time to see them. As light travels out from the vehicle, it spreads. The beam hits more objects that are further away than those that are close.
The light beam also signifies the driver’s peripheral vision. Most drivers look straight ahead, and they only check what’s ahead to the sides with their peripheral vision. If the pedestrian is hard to see because of poor lighting, the driver might not notice him or her in time to stop.
This points out the significance of standing out as a pedestrian. Bright colors, flashing lights and other obvious signals help drivers see you, even at night. When you’re far away from the driver, you stand out and are in his or her line of vision. As the vehicle approaches, your attire or light causes the driver to look toward you, taking you out of peripheral vision and directly into the driver’s line of sight.
This is something to consider if you’re walking at night. Do your best to stand out, so drivers have a chance to see you.
Source: Visual Expert, “Seeing Pedestrians At Night,” Marc Green, accessed March 02, 2018