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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
3M's No White at Night Challenge

I recently met with a rep from 3M to see what's new and exciting for outdoor enthusiasts. During this meeting, we discussed their No White at Night campaign, and how that meshes with their 360° Enhanced Visibility program. Watch this video, and then I'll explain how 3M is working with garment and shoe manufacturers to help keep us safe.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OgKOcyHwu4"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OgKOcyHwu4[/ame]

That's a bit of an eye-opener, for sure. Which is where the 360° Enhanced Visibility program comes in. It's not as simple as a shoe or clothing company slapping on some 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material and calling it good. In order to qualify for the 360° Enhanced Visibility hang tag, a manufacturer needs to submit plans proving that their product will contain a specified amount of reflective material, and it must be visible from all sides. It's even broken down by location and amount, so that you're assured a certain amount of visibility on the front, back, and sides. This approval process certifies that garments and footwear displaying the 360° Enhanced Visibility hang tag meet these stringent requirements. So leave your t-shirt at home, and look for the tag - it might just keep you from becoming another statistic.

[edit] Due to forum security restrictions, I had to grab this Youtube video. The original from 3M can be found here.
 

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Slowin it up.
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Man, that's nuts, I usually bike home in an under shirt (white) or a chef coat (white as well). I guess I'm done with that.

Thanks for the info good sir!
 

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Two skinny J's
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That's crazy Hack ! I would have never thought that! Not sure how I missed this before either...If you can find those hints please post'm up!
 

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Slowin it up.
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That would be cool, I showed my wife and she flipped. She hit me (her sign of affection) and said... grumble grumble... IH was great for posting that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From the folks at 3M - tips for exercising at night:

1. Do not wear white alone! Drivers moving at just 30 mph could travel a distance over 500 feet before they are able to properly maneuver their cars in response to an obstacle; yet a pedestrian wearing a white shirt may not be visible to drivers until they are within 300 feet* of the car. 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material uses retroflection technology, meaning that it’s specifically designed to return light directly back to its original source. Wear garments which incorporate high brightness reflective materials, in the proper amounts, and in key locations.
*Source: National Safety Council, Walk Alert National Pedestrian Safety Program, FHWA RD 89-022, 1989 Program Guide (NSD, 1989)

2. Increase visibility from all angles. While it’s common for fitness enthusiasts to wear workout attire with reflective material, common designs may not have enough reflective material to get noticed. Wearing garments that contain reflective material on the front, back and sides – in proper amounts and intensity – help enhance visibility. Look for 3M Scotchlite’s 360 Degree hangtag for certified garments that meet these standards and help enhance your visibility from nearly every angle.

3. When walking, biking or running at night, wearing garments with the proper amount of reflective material is essential. But just as important is ensuring the garment design has reflective material on key body movement locations such as the wrists, ankles, elbows or knees. Highlighting these movement locations may allow drivers to more easily recognize the human form – as opposed to a sign or construction barrel – and may help provide more time for drivers to react and avoid an accident.

4. Don’t forget your shoes. Feet are another key body movement location. Wearing reflective material on your shoes is a great way to help delineate yourself as a runner, walker or biker. When combined with reflective garments, reflective material on shoes may help allow drivers to recognize a pedestrian in low-light situations.

5. Wear fluorescent materials. Fluorescent materials help provide additional contrast to the environment, and help runners stand out during daylight, dawn and dusk hours.
 

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I agree, a white jersey or t-shirt at night just doesn't cut it. There are so many distractions in cars these days, you need every advantage you can get. If you ride at night, some portion of the drivers that pass you are drunk/tired/texting or are just plain distracted from the job of paying attention to the road in front of them. If that road happens to contain your bicycle, you're in big trouble if they don't see you soon enough.

When I ride at night I do so with a Planet Bike Superflash mounted on my seat post. This LED flashing light is freaking bright. Last year I particpated in RAGBRAI (week long ride across Iowa) with 15,000 other cycling nuts. This year I decided to ride out into the countryside at night. One night some of my teammates hooked up with some locals that had a car and were out driving around. They caught up with me about 15 miles outside of town around 9PM. They said they could see my superflash light from about a mile away. Great product, uses just 2 AAA batteries. Will flash for about 100 hours. If it's on steady, battery life is probably 10 hours. I use rechargeable batteries with no problems.

I know that both Gore and Voler sells a line of jerseys with 3m reflective strips. Voler's jerseys are called NightBright. I own a couple of the Gore Contest model jerseys with the reflective logo/piping/arm banding. After many, many washings, I can say that the Gore reflective features are still intact and work as advertised.
 

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I agree as well that a white T shirt isn't near sufficient enough...but, I found the video to be misleading! sorry. But where I live few bike riders and even less runners wear reflective material not to mention lights. But those who were smart enough to wear white clothing I could see way before dark clothing and had time to respond while driving a car. The video makes it look really bad, like your not going to see anything till your almost about to hit them, I haven't found that to be the case at all. I'm not saying don't use reflective material, that would be idiotic to mention such a thing, I'm just saying white works better then the video leads one to believe.
 

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White is good

I agree with froze, the video is misleading (it's a commercial promo after all).

It shows a dark country road where the only light source is the distant car headlight. But in any location with a bit of light - from street lamps or buildings or other traffic, white clothing will be much more visible than dark.

Wear white - it's common sense! Add reflective if necessary.

And never rely on your clothes to save your life. Keep aware!
 

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I've always been a fan of white clothes when outside on the roads but have thought about those 3M vests for this summer's evening riding. This finishes the thought process and will take me to a check out button somewhere. Thanks for the good information and great video on the topic.

I'd rather be alive and kinda geeky looking than my usual stylish self :) and dead in a ditch.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Discussion Starter #13
I don't think anyone is disputing the common sense of white over dark clothes. Rather, the video is demonstrating that a white shirt alone is not enough. Since 3M is an OEM vendor, they're not trying to sell you anything. They sell their reflective materials to clothing companies.
 

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Two skinny J's
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I agree with froze, the video is misleading (it's a commercial promo after all).

It shows a dark country road where the only light source is the distant car headlight. But in any location with a bit of light - from street lamps or buildings or other traffic, white clothing will be much more visible than dark.

Wear white - it's common sense! Add reflective if necessary.

And never rely on your clothes to save your life. Keep aware!
Maybe your eyes and mind are focused on the reflective material and it's not so much that you can't see the white you're just not focused on it and maybe that's the trick of the video( sorry for the tongue twisted sentence )

That scenario (in the video) would be very fitting where I live, work and ride. Very low light, no street lights, low traffic and generally narrow roads.

I think you are exactly right when you say: "And never rely on your clothes to save your life. Keep aware!" Situational awareness, it's key!
 

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Maybe your eyes and mind are focused on the reflective material and it's not so much that you can't see the white you're just not focused on it and maybe that's the trick of the video( sorry for the tongue twisted sentence )

That scenario (in the video) would be very fitting where I live, work and ride. Very low light, no street lights, low traffic and generally narrow roads.

I think you are exactly right when you say: "And never rely on your clothes to save your life. Keep aware!" Situational awareness, it's key!
I live in an area that has a variety of lighting, from city area with lots of lighting to country with none. And I can tell you that white clothing can be seen sooner in any of those combinations of lighting, and everything in between then what the video shows.

BUT, I'm not a big fan of using "JUST" reflective material or reflectors anyway, it's passive lighting that sometimes actually fails to reflect and at other times does not reflect soon enough. I'm not advocating not to use reflective material because I use it, but I rely far more on lighting then reflectors.

I have a Cygolite Mitycross 400 (was using a Cygolite ExpiliOn 250 which is also a great light, now my wife uses it) combined with a Vista Xenon flasher and a BLT helmet light; combined with a Blackburn Mars 4 tail light, and Soma Road Flare bar end lights, and a Cateye LD600 on the back of the helmet. The only reflectors I use are the 3M tape on the helmet, reflective leg bands, reflective tape that came with the seat bag, and if wearing the jacket it has reflective piping. In other words I rely 100% on lighting and not on reflective stuff.

If your out jogging or riding on a street without a light your just looking to die. Sorry to sound so rough, but I can't count all the times I've seen a runner or a cyclist while driving the car that I barely saw and some were using reflective material! It's not a big deal today to attach a blinking red light to the rear of your clothing if your out running, or buy a pair of arm bands with led's in them so you can be seen a lot sooner.

Reflective material is better then nothing, true, but rely on lights not reflectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I can't count all the times I've seen a runner or a cyclist while driving the car that I barely saw and some were using reflective material!
And what if they didn't even have the reflective material - would you have seen them at all, or too late?
 

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And what if they didn't even have the reflective material - would you have seen them at all, or too late?
Most people that I've seen that didn't wear any reflective material were also too dumb to wear white clothing thus I still saw them, but the safety margin was radically reduced. When you say too late, I've never hit anyone thus it was never "too late", but rather uncomfortably late. There has been times when I saw reflective material before anything else on the person, but there's also been times,for whatever reasons, the reflective material didn't reflect till AFTER I had already saw the person! And sometimes just wearing white was more noticeable then any reflective material the person was wearing!! I'm not kidding, I have numerous times noticed a runner wearing white clothes BEFORE the reflector in their shoes showed up.

Granted, I don't stop and ask the person if their using the 3M material and if not they should, so there's no way of telling if they had been using the 3M material if they could have been seen sooner. I'm simply saying not to rely on passive reflective material like 3M or otherwise, you need active lighting.

By the way in Fort Wayne Indiana it's rare for a cyclist here to even ride using any lighting or reflective material at all!! And to those I run into I yell at them: "get a light or die"; little harsh but hopefully at least one might decide to get a light.
 

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Slowin it up.
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I agree with froze, the video is misleading (it's a commercial promo after all).

It shows a dark country road where the only light source is the distant car headlight. But in any location with a bit of light - from street lamps or buildings or other traffic, white clothing will be much more visible than dark.

Wear white - it's common sense! Add reflective if necessary.

And never rely on your clothes to save your life. Keep aware!

I grew up in the middle of nowhere, there was one street light every few miles to indicate a major intersection (major being a misnomer), that was dark. The road they were on was not a dark road. It wasn't as bright as a city road, but it was comparable to some of the neighborhoods I trek through.

The video appears to be a lo light situation, I don't think it was claiming to be anything else, so I don't understand how it was misleading.

Any way you look at it though, A tandem rider is stopped by a police car.

"What've I done, officer?" asks the rider.

"Perhaps you didn't notice sir, but your wife fell off your bike half a mile back . . ."

"Oh, thank God for that," says the rider - "I thought I'd gone deaf!"


A little humor as we debate.
 
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