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How color can make you safer when you walk or cycle

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Auto-Pedestrian Accidents |

Do you ever wonder why stop signs are red? What about why school buses are always yellow?

Believe it or not, it’s all about safety. Red is so heavily associated with danger in the human psyche (probably because of its correlation with blood), that stop signs all around the world are red.

Meanwhile, yellow is used for school buses because – even though red puts human beings on high alert – the human eye picks up on yellow even better. Researchers say that “lateral peripheral vision for detecting yellows is 1.24 times greater than for red.” Even a white vehicle isn’t as noticeable to drivers as one that’s yellow.

What does this mean for you?

Whether you walk or cycle for health, convenience, environmental or economic reasons, you know that drivers aren’t always as conscious of pedestrians as they should be. You may have already experienced a few close calls with drivers turning into your path or running a light.

It’s important to do everything you can to be more visible – and your knowledge of how humans perceive color can help. Consider buying a yellow bike, adding a bright red safety helmet and maybe some reflective yellow tape to your wheels if you’re a cyclist. If you’re walking, invest in a yellow windbreaker or backpack and yellow shoes.

Ultimately, every driver out there should be watching for pedestrians and cyclists as they travel – and it’s not your fault when they’re being inattentive. Even if you do everything in your power to make yourself visible, you can still end up in a crash. If that happens, find out how to hold the other party accountable.

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