Chapter 2.3 Reflectors


High visibility vest, reflectors on bags, reflectors on jackets, hats and boots, reflectors on traffic signs, reflectors on bicycles.

Learning outcomes

You will learn about:

Why it is important to use reflectors

How a reflector works

Different kinds of reflector

Be seen in the dark

Things are very different outside after dark. It’s harder for you to see the road and other vehicles, and it’s harder for other vehicles to see you. It’s important that we help each other out by being as visible as possible.

What do you think it is like to go out walking in the dark?

See and be seen: reflectors

When headlights from a car beam towards a reflector, the reflector shines the light back to the driver. In other words, it reflects the light. It looks like the reflector is lighting up. This means it is easier for drivers to see pedestrians who use reflectors. Reflectors light up only when light shines on them. They don’t light up by themselves.

Be visible

Cars can come from many directions. Therefore you must attach reflectors so they can be seen from all angles. It’s important that they can be seen both when walking along the road and when crossing the road. Reflectors which move are the best.

Be seen in the dark

If you go out in the dark without a reflector, someone driving at 50 km per hour will have just two seconds to react. If you use a reflector, they have ten more seconds to react. This gives them much more time to react.

Traffic words


- Something which reflects light

High visibility vest

-a strongly coloured vest with reflecting bands, which you wear on top of other clothes.