In partnership with Equisafety

Every colour has a different effect on people, sometimes subconsciously. A good example of this is a traffic light, as Nicky Fletcher from Equisafety explains.

Green for go

Green is seen as a safe colour; it symbolises life and therefore safety. This is why green is used for fire exits, first aid kits and is worn by paramedics. In a traffic light, it signals that is safe for a driver to proceed ahead.

Yellow for caution

Yellow is very visible; one theory is because of its association with the natural world. Bees and wasps are yellow and black to signify how dangerous they are and to warn predators to stay away. Yellow makes us take notice, as it is associated with danger.

Yellow’s visibility and its association with danger make it perfect for the tier of danger below red. A yellow sign indicates a potential hazard ahead, whilst yellow at zebra crossings lets you know to be wary of pedestrians.

Red for stop

Red is a traditional warning of danger. Red is associated with stopping: red flags, red hazard signs, and red traffic lights. It is used to warn the highest levels of danger, which prompts an immediate positive response from drivers and other road users to slow down.

Why is red so effective?

Red has the longest wavelength of all colours in the visible spectrum. Its long wavelength results in red colours being scattered the least. Due to the receptors for red colours in the eye being clustered in the area near the centre, where the sharpest images are formed, it is easily visible over long distances, even in conditions such as rain and fog. This is why its so effective when used to indicate danger.

It is easily visible over great distances, even in conditions such as rain or fog, because it has the longest wavelength on the visible spectrum, meaning the colour is scattered the least.

Red stimulates the stronger emotions of any colour. Studies have shown that being exposed to the colour red can elevate blood pressure, increase heart rate and respiration rate, and enhance metabolism. These physiological changes naturally cause your energy levels to spike.

What colour is best for riders?

Yellow is the most popular colour for high-vis and was first used for safety clothing in 1964. High-vis pink arrived on the equine market 35 years later, but now you can get products in a variety of colours including green, orange, white and red.

Any high-vis is better than none at all, but it could be worth considering the impact that colour can have the next time you’re in the market for some new gear.

This content is brought to you in partnership with Equisafety, the performance equine reflective clothing brand which has recently introduced the colour red into its selection of products. 

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