By Anne Marie Hayes
President, Teens Learn to Drive Inc.
Founder of ‘The Sweet Life Road Show’
As the president of non-profit ‘Teens Learn to Drive’ I have watched the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries rise. That’s why we talk to students about the importance of being visible and attentive when they cross roadways at the ‘Sweet Life Road Show’ events we do in high schools. But nothing brought the message so close to home for me as when until I almost hit a pedestrian. It wouldn’t have been my fault if I had hit him. He should have been running on the sidewalk – not the road – but it still would have been devastating.
It was still dark and there was no one else on the road. If I’d been speeding, sipping my coffee or distracted by the phone I could have killed him. The runner was ‘in the zone’ with music pumping through his earbuds and dressed completely in black when he came around the corner in my lane and almost ran into my car. I barely stopped in time.
He should have at least been wearing clothing that could be seen, but reflective vests like construction workers wear are ugly and running shoes with reflective stripes are still not common. Besides most runners choose comfort and style over safety – just like the rest of us.
That’s why I was so excited to meet Sae Chang. He and his partner create clothing people want to wear because it’s comfortable and looks good – but it has a difference. It has highly reflective dots and symbols. They look tone on tone during the day but when headlights shine on them they can be seen from a distance. They are strategically placed so the wearer can be seen from all sides and movements are highlighted.
Sae is a textile engineer and had worked with the Scotchlite division at 3M so he understands reflective surfaces. His clothing line continues to reflect after 100 washings! If you’re in the market for new active wear for yourself or your family I urge you to take a look at TokiYogi Reflective Apparel. The clothing is stylish, functional and affordable and wearing it could save your life or the life of someone you love.