A letter writer warns that most pedestrians and cyclists are invisible to motorists in dark wet weather and recommends wearing reflective clothing.

A $20 vest can save your life

Wearing a reflective gear in the dark outdoors a ‘common-sense step."

Every winter, pedestrian strikes at intersections increase dramatically.

Simply put, the headlights of the vehicles approaching the intersection from various directions cast a glare on the water droplets on the side windows and edges of the windshield not cleared by the windshield wiper blades and render any dark object on the other side of the glass invisible.

Any vehicle turning right will have a large blind spot around the roof pillar where a pedestrian or cyclist in dark clothes in not visible behind the back-lit raindrops.

Utility poles further aggravate the problem as people standing behind or next to one in dark clothes are invisible.

The most effective “fix” for this problem is for pedestrians and cyclists to wear reflective clothing. However obvious this may seem, very few people actually take this simple common-sense step to make themselves visible to drivers who are trying to watch traffic lights, judge the speed and distance of approaching vehicles, and look in several directions including the rear view mirror all at once.

Also, put your cellphone in your pocket, pull your hoodie back, and look at the traffic while you are crossing a street. Don’t assume the drivers see you. They probably can’t and don’t.

For about $20 you can buy a reflective vest or pullover harness pretty well anywhere that sells work clothes. There are also flashing red LED armbands you can wear.

Buy a vest, wear it and stay alive. Twenty dollars is not much to pay for something that may save your life. It’s much cheaper than the ambulance ride to the hospital or morgue.

Terry Lawrence, Surrey

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