Vehicles that stop and start, or park near heavy traffic, need to be clearly visible. Reflective striped panels that are highly visible in the day, and reflective at night easily accomplish this goal. However, oftentimes vehicle owners also wish to convey a message to approaching traffic. For example, a reflective message panel that said “FREQUENT STOPS” would warn cars behind the vehicle and make them aware that the vehicle may stop suddenly. A horse trailer that said “CAUTION HORSES” would likewise warn drivers that animals are on board a trailer and they should be extra careful. Work zone vehicles that are painting the road may have reflective panels that say “STAY BACK 200 FEET” or “SLOW DOWN” and “PAINTING IN PROGRESS”. This type of message would warn drivers to not only slow down, but to also be careful to stay off freshly sprayed lines. Some examples of reflective word panel messages would as follows –
SLOW MOVING VEHICLE
STAY BACK 200 FEET
SNOW PLOWING IN PROGRESS
By letting other drivers know what danger to expect, a safer scenario can be created around work vehicles, utility vehicles, or vehicles towing trailers with livestock. And since the panels are both vivid in the day and reflective at night, they get the attention of other drivers from far away, even before the driver can read what the panel says. So although drivers need to be within say 300 feet to read the message, they will see the bright panel at over 1000 feet away.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida , Business & Innovation – Stanford University) 25 years of experience in the reflective safety business. Specializing in vehicle accident and rear end collision reduction through increased visibility.