Many people think that streetlights are enough, but the
statistics don't agree. When darkness falls, you may see the car but the driver may not see you. Ajay Woozageer, Senior Media
Liaison Officer for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation reports that as darkness falls, the risks to pedestrians increase.
"In 2010, the most recent Ontario data available [Ontario Road Safety Annual Report], the peak times for serious
injuries and fatalities to pedestrians involved in motor vehicle collisions was between 4pm and 9pm", said Woozageer.
He also points out that, as the days get shorter in the winter months, motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians
increase. "The most dangerous times for pedestrians is during the autumn and winter months", said Woozageer.
"From 2006 to 2010, 40% of serious injuries and 42% of fatalities to pedestrians occurred between October and January."
In Canada and other Nordic countries that experience longer periods of darkness in the winter months, this problem
is nothing new. Finland invented the one thing that has, according to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report
on Road Safety, made Scandinavian countries experience the lowest pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents in the world. The
humble safety reflector...
Safety Reflectors Finland invented the safety reflector and in 1960, it was quickly
adapted; allowing kids and adults to be safe when they were out walking and biking. The Finns feel so strongly about pedestrians
wearing reflectors that it is the law for all pedestrians to wear safety reflectors when they are out walking in dark
conditions. Since the 60's Scandinavian schools and organizations have taught all school age children about the
virtue of wearing safety reflectors. Now, all pedestrians and bikers in Scandinavia from 80 year-olds to a walking toddler
unconsciously wear them. Thanks to many successful campaigns, wearing safety reflectors has become a common part of everyday
According to the Norwegian Council for Road Safety, wearing reflectors can reduce your risk of being hit
by a car by 85%. Without a reflector the driver of a car may only see you when you are only 25-30 meters away. Driving at
50 kph (30 mph) this gives the driver only 2 seconds to react. A pedestrian's reflector can be seen shining at 140 meters
in the headlights, giving the driver a full 10 seconds to see you and react accordingly.
By Kari Svenneby founder of ActiveKidsclub.com to
an online resource for getting families outdoors. When Kari could not find any wearable safety reflector in the city of Toronto,
she decided to create her own line of safety reflectors for Canadians. ActiveKidsClub.com Safety Reflectors.