Walking home from school or from the office is commonplace here in the UK. Many secondary school children walk home or from the school bus stop and many commuters use a combination of walking and public transport for their commutes. But during the autumn and winter months, it’s important to consider how you can make yourself more visible when walking home.
What to wear to be more visible walking home
The first obvious solution to being more visible while walking is to wear something luminous and reflective like a jacket, tabard or indeed hat.
That’s hard however for many commuters. You need to arrive at the office ready to go so having to strip off a reflective belt or tabard and then store it somewhere during the day is a pain. And if you're rushing to make a train or catch a bus, the last thing you want to do is fiddle about attaching backpack lights to your bag.
It's the same for school children; school uniforms are usually dark colours (navy, black or grey) and school coats are similar (read our blog here about The Invisible Child to see what we mean). Teens often also have a terrible fear of standing out from their peers. Who aged 11 or 12, wanting desperately to fit in at ssecondary chool, wants to wear a bright yellow or pink tabard on the way home?! Certainly not my children!
So is there a solution? Yes! You can make yourself more visible walking home by using one of our Futliit backpacks. Futliit's light up backpack has 2 bright white LED light strips giving you loads of lighting options (2 flashing modes, steady-on and off). Reflective panels add that extra layer of visibility. Plus, our easy access switches make it simple to turn the lights on when the backpack is on your back – simply run your hand down the straps to where they join the base of the backpack and you’ll find the switches in the little pockets at the bottom.
Additional safety tips for walking in the dark
Take a torch with you. It might not make you more visible on your journey but it will definitely help you see where you’re going! Not all areas are covered by streetlights particularly if you live in a rural location and even if there are streetlights, you often get darker stretches or uneven ground and potholes. Tuck a small but powerful LED torch into a pocket. It’s tempting to use your phone as a flashlight but…
…constantly looking at your phone means you’re not aware of your surroundings nor looking where you’re going, and the bright screen can make it hard for your eyes to adjust quickly to the darkness. Wearing headphones can also be hugely distracting – you need to listen out for traffic and other dangers, particularly as electric cars and bicycles are often almost silent.
Use the pavement wherever you can and walk in the middle to be more visible. This is common sense to commuters but if you have kids walking to school, it's important to encourage them not to hide away next to vegetation or fool around with friends near the kerb. If you have to walk in the road because there isn’t a pavement, walk so that oncoming traffic is coming towards you. Make sure you walk on the outside of bends which might mean you need to cross over in advance. Take extra care if you’ve got to cross the road – don’t forget that if you’re not expecting to see a car coming, the car is probably not expecting to see you!
Think hard about the best route to walk. Ideally you want to walk a well lit route without lots of shrubbery or dark alleyways even if it means you need to take the long way round.
So, if you’d like to be more visible walking home from school, have a look at our Futliit LED backpack. Join us and #BeFutliit!