I have written about safety flags previously but I want to revisit the subject today. Did you ever notice the word SAFETY in safety flags? They are called safety flags for a very good reason. The purpose of a safety flag is to help keep you safe by attracting attention … by being highly visible. If a flag fails to do that it is worthless as a safety flag. Sadly the vast majority of flags people have on their trikes fail the test when it comes to fulfilling the task of helping keep the rider safe. I really don’t understand it. Why do people insist on using flags that are ineffective? They use flags that they like the looks of paying no attention to whether or not they are highly visible and attention getting.
Part of being attention getting is to flap around freely in the slightest of breezes. Some flags don’t hardly flap in a very strong wind. Flags should readily be seen from 360 degrees and from far away.
I have had people tell me that they saw my flags from a very long distance off from every which direction from me. I have had people tell me that they say my safety flags before they saw my bright flashing lights.
Both the size and the shape of a flag is important. One of the most popular shaped flags is a triangle. In my opinion they are absolutely the worst flag out there as far as being seen and attention getting. That is because they flap very poorly and oftentimes appear from the back as a thin line. They are not even as wide as the flag pole which they are attached to. That is ridiculous, but people seem to love these flags. They are extremely popular. I think they would be better off with just the flag pole if it were a safety orange color. I have followed behind people who use these flags and observed them. Rarely do they move any to attract attention. Definitely a streamer attached to it helps immensely. It is the only thing that can be seen as it flaps about.
I base my opinions of safety flags on real life experience. One of the most impressive experiences I have had is when I was riding on the Maumee Pathway which is one of our local trails. It follows along the Maumee River so it meanders around quite a bit and much of it is well shaded by trees. There are very few places along the trail that offer line of sight vision for very far ahead. Between curves, hills and trees and bushes you just can’t see very far ahead. I was riding along when I got a very brief glimpse of a bright flash of orange light. It must have been 3/4 of a mile ahead of me. I thought it must be the amber flashing light of a utility vehicle or mower. As I continued to ride along I saw this brief flash of orange a couple of more times. I kept going and caught up with the source of what I was seeing. It was not a flashing light at all but a couple of people I know who have identical safety flags to mine. They liked my flags so well that the wife copied them making a set for their trikes. The sun occasionally shined down thru the trees lighting up the flags which made the orange flag look like a light flashing. I knew that my flags are highly visible and attention getting but this was positive proof for sure. For more information on how to make these flags click HERE.
I rarely see safety flags that impress me. Today I saw this one on Facebook and it inspired me to write this article to post at this time. It is yellow and orange together with a black line separating the two colors. It flaps extremely well. I think it is too large but otherwise I really like it. I think the size is going to be an issue on very windy days especially as high as it is mounted. That flag pole is going to bend over considerably.
I encourage you to use safety flags that are effective … not just something you find appealing for other reasons. Your very life and well being may depend upon it so that you can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
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