“SeeMe” Reflectors are an Australian invention. They have been developed as a result of a number of near fatal road accidents at night involving bicycle riders. These mostly involved teenage riders in dark clothing, riding dark coloured bicycles who had absolutely no illumination on their bicycles. On narrow poorly lit roads at night, with the glare of oncoming traffic headlights these cyclists effectively become invisible to car drivers. They basically were “major accidents waiting to happen”. This “SeeMe” Reflector campaign has been specifically created to alleviate these situations.
“SeeMe” Reflectors working in late evening light.
BICYLE ROAD ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In Australia around 45 to 50 cyclists are killed on our roads each year and many hundreds of cyclists are injured. A media release by one major Capital City Hospital reported that on average their emergency department receives one injured cyclist from a road accident each day for treatment. That is 365 injuries per year attending just one large hospital! The report also stated that the real statistics for bicycle accident injuries are not known because there is no government requirement that they be reported. Also they said that the paperwork involved would cause extra work for already overloaded casualty nursing staff.
Throughout Australia it is estimated that about 15 to 25 cyclists per day (may be more) would receive serious bicycle related road accident injuries requiring medical treatment. With the growing number of bicycles on the roads this problem can only be expected to increase. Annual new bicycle sales in Australia have been estimated to be about 35% more than annual new vehicle sales. So improved bicycle safety concerns will become more important over time. This “SeeMe” Reflectors campaign aims to play a helpful part in addressing this problem.
Be Seen, Stay Alive
DUTY OF CARE
All cyclists have a “Duty of Care” at law to make sure that their bicycles are made properly visible to other motorists at night and in poor light conditions. “SeeMe” reflectors can now substantially help to improve the capacity for all cyclists to adhere to these community “Duty of Care” responsibilities.
A bicycle with no illumination at all only becomes visible to a vehicle driver using low beam headlights at about 35 metres distance. With “SeeMe” reflectors fitted that bicycle becomes visible at 160 metres to low beam car headlights.
EMERGENCY STOPPING DISTANCES
Given that it takes a vehicle driver 56 metres * to stop in an emergency when travelling at 60 kph, a cyclist without reflectors who only becomes visible at 35 metres is at serious risk of having a very major accident. But with “SeeMe” Reflectors fitted the driver can see the cyclists at 160 metres and then has the space of 3 times the emergency stopping distance to be able to avoid an accident on the road at night. * Research figures published by the Queensland Department of Main Roads
“SEEME” REFLECTOR MATERIAL
“SeeMe”Reflectors are made from one of the latest high powered flexible mono-construction reflective material available. This material has been developed to meet some of the high performance standards of the European ECE 104 vehicle night time visibility regulations.
“SEEME” REFLECTOR DEVELOPMENT
The development of the “SeeMe” reflectors involved much research around the world into reflective materials suitable for the manufacture of these reflectors. Firstly, it involved understanding many scientific details relating to light, its movement and how reflectivity works. Then there was the understanding of the properties of what are accurately called “retro-reflective” materials and how they work. Then physical properties involving the flexibility and adhesive capabilities of the products and their capacity to allow the necessary secondary manufacturing all had to be allowed for. The result has been the sourcing of one of the most recently developed and most efficient reflective products available in the world for the manufacture of “SeeMe” Reflectors. “SeeMe” Reflectors are a high quality product.
Be Seen, Stay Alive
“SEEME” REFLECTOR KITS
Each “SeeMe” Reflector kit has a reflector card containing eight (8) peel-off soft self-adhesive reflector segments, a set of paper practice reflector segments together with Installation Instructions Sheet and a Reflector Spacing Guide. These reflective segments are to be attached to the bicycle in accordance with the specific pattern shown on the Reflector Spacing Guide.
“SeeMe” Reflectors are visible at 160 metres to low beam headlights.
Close view of “SeeMe” Reflectors attached to thick front bicycle forks, showing how the reflectors are attached facing to the front and to the side of the fork shafts
Close view of “SeeMe” Reflectors attached to thin rear bicycle forks where the reflector segment actually reaches all around the shafts. On thick rear forks the reflector segments must be attached facing equally to the side and to the rear of the bicycle.
"BLOCK of 4" REFLECTORS
This kit is designed to create a 'specific bicycle recognition image' made up of a “BLOCK of 4” reflectors at the front of the bicycle and a “BLOCK of 4” at the back. There is a very specific spacing pattern between each reflector segment which is indicated on the Reflector Spacing Guide attached to the Installation Instructions.
Bicycles have very little mass which makes them hard to see in daylight and almost impossible to see at night. This “BLOCK of 4” image has been very specifically developed for easy bicycle recognition at night.
“SeeMe” 'BLOCK of 4' image shown on the front and rear of a bicycle
ALL ROUND VISABILITY
"SeeMe" Reflectors have also been designed to specifically provide all round bicycle visibility to vehicle drivers at night. They make bicycles very visible from all side directions which widens the visibility safety of the bicycle when in use. It can also assist emergency service personnel, using spot lights, with finding cyclists if they become lost in rough country, or being found if injured in an accident where medical assistance is required.
Be Seen, Stay Alive
The 'BLOCK of 4' “SeeMe” Reflectors image shown at the front of a bicycle at night
A night time side-on view of a bicycle with “SeeMe” Reflectors fitted
The adhesive material used with these reflector segments is so strong that once fitted, the segments become almost impossible to remove. Therefore paper cut-out practice reflector segments are provided to assist in first positioning the reflectors correctly and neatly. Each practice reflector segment is then carefully replaced with a “SeeMe” Reflector segment in its exact position. Instructions and a spacing guide, as mentioned before, for fitting are also provided to help achieve the correct ‘BLOCK of 4’ fitting pattern.
This extremely strong adhesive is also aimed at trying to make the reflectors almost impossible to remove and robust enough to withstand damaging treatment by rough teenage bicycle riders.
“SeeMe” Reflectors are coloured yellow because they are five (5) times more visible at night. The reflectors are also made using a florescent colour which helps provide some additional assistance with daylight visibility.
Complimenting Bicycle Lighting
“SeeMe” Reflectors further improve the visibility of bicycles fitted with flashing night lights. This is because they provide a constant reflected level of light and not a bright flashing light. A bright flashing light does not allow the human eye time to adjust to it, and thus allow accurate human assessment how far away the bicycle actually is. “SeeMe” Reflectors provide a constant level of reflected light which allows drivers to accurately assess the distance to a cyclist on the road.
“SeeMe” Reflectors are intended to be used as an added safety accessory when fitted to bicycles. They are additional to and are not intended to form any part of any current bicycle lighting regulations.
"SeeMe" Reflector Field Testing
Developing this product has involved over 5 years of research. It has included many night time trials and photographic data collection to develop a field interpretation of the science of reflectivity. Many different materials from various countries have been tested and exposed to many different weather conditions before the final "SeeMe" Reflector product was evolved.
Varying Reflective Performances
All photographs shown here are genuine field images indicating the performance of “SeeMe” Reflectors in different situations. However in the field, these performances will always vary because the reflectors will mostly be seen in moving situations, where as a photograph is a still image.
Then factors such as the power, cleanliness and accuracy of adjustment of vehicle headlights, the angle that the light enters the reflectors and the angle that the driver observes the reflected light all have varying effects. Also rises and hollows in the road and whether the road is straight or winding have effects. Street lighting, oncoming vehicle traffic lighting and general weather conditions are other factors that produce varying and changing reflective results. However, overall the general performance of these reflectors on bicycles at night is very powerful and will be very helpful and beneficial in providing extra safety for all who install them.
Ongoing Road Safety Campaign
It is hoped that this private “SeeMe” Reflector Road Safety Campaign will gain momentum and help reduce bicycle road accident injuries and fatalities at night. It is also hoped that cyclists will encourage other cyclists to participate in this campaign. Website details have been provided on the reflectors on purpose to help other cyclists easily procure reflector kits for themselves. The ultimate Road Safety aim with this campaign would be to eventually see all bicycles fitted with these Safety Reflectors.
Be Seen, Stay Alive
Two Bicycles doing a U turn 40 metres in front of a car driver using low beam headlights. The white bike on the right is basically not visible but the dark coloured bike on the left with “SeeMe” Reflectors is clearly visible.