A reflective tape is a product that shines very brightly when something provides light to it. Using this on motorcycle helmets increases the visibility of the riders. The reflected light is very noticeable for anyone in front. Therefore, it makes the riders themselves detectable on the road.
What is a Reflective Tape for Motorcycle Helmets?
Reflective tapes increase the visibility of motorcycles on the road. They reflect incoming light from any approaching vehicle. Therefore, the tape shines brightly which draws the attention of the driver in front. Consequently, reflective tapes are very important for any motorcyclist out there.
We notice a huge number of accidents around the world every year. About 14% of all traffic-related deaths each year occur by motorcycles. However, do you know how much do motorcycles make up for total registered vehicles? Only 3%! That is why the rider must be seen distinctively on the road.
What is a Reflective Tape?
Reflective tapes are made of reflective material. These tapes are quite durable and highly adhesive. That is why they stay stuck on the surface under any circumstance. As helmets are the most visible part of the rider, these tapes are used on the helmets most. Reflective tapes are of 2 kinds.
The mechanism that goes into this is pretty easy and common. When light shines upon any normal reflective tape, the light shines on the surface and reflects the other way from the source. So, if the light is coming from the right side, then it will reflect the left side.
Therefore, normal reflective tapes do not work well in low light or at night. Furthermore, using this tape will not make you as visible as you want. Because, as it reflects away, it is less likely to gain the attention of the driver.
Have you ever played with a ping-pong ball? Did you notice that when you drop it on the floor it bounces right back at you? That is what happens with retro-reflective tape. When you shine a light on it, the light bounces and reflects off the surface back to the source.
Accordingly, these tapes are very useful and sometimes life-saving as well. If you are wearing this tape and an oncoming vehicle shines a light on you, it will reflect directly back to the vehicle it came from. So, the driver in it will be forced to notice you. There are 2 types of retro-reflective light:
Glass Bead Reflective Tapes
These are approximately 30% effective as they have imperfections due to curved surfaces. These tapes incorporate microscopic glass beads to reflect the light. These tapes are less costly and work great within a 300-foot parameter. Moreover, you can cut these tapes into your desired shapes; alphabets or designs. This is known as CAD cutting.
Prismatic Reflective Tapes
These tapes are far more efficient compared to glass bead reflective tapes. They are about 80% effective because they do not use glass beads. Instead, they use human-made prisms. As a result, the surface is not curved like the previous tape.
Due to a much straighter surface, the reflected light from prismatic reflective tape seems much brighter and more compressed. They offer a higher chance of getting noticed than other tapes. Moreover, these are noticeable in a range of more than 1000-foot.
Best Reflective Tapes for Motorcycle Helmet
1. 3M Scotchlite SOLAS Grade Reflective Tape
This is one of the most popular and most used reflective tapes out there. Possessing more than 1000 candela rating makes it one of the best reflective tapes as well. Candela is the unit used to measure luminous intensity.
Normally, during the day the tape seems silver. However, it seems bright white when it reflects. This tape works the best in low light and nighttime. But it is not flame resistant and not washable as well.
2. 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape
This is a great tape for using at nighttime. It is normally black during the daytime. However, when light strikes, it sends off a bright shine back to the source of light.
Additionally, it has a strong adhesiveness. Because of its conformability, it may be used on a variety of contoured and curved surfaces.
Best Reflective Stickers for Motorcycle Helmet
Reflective stickers are almost the same as reflective tapes. The only difference is that stickers come in small cut designs and the tapes are sold as any normal tape. However, they both work in the same way.
3. VFLUO Reflective Helmet Sticker Kit
These stickers are a great choice for riding at night. However, it seems almost invisible during the day due to its black appearance. Additionally, 3M and micro prismatic technologies are incorporated within it. Application is quite easy as well.
4. B Reflective Retro-Reflective Sticker Kit
Similar to the previous sticker, this sticker appears black during the day also. It reflects the light brightly at night and even in the rain. this can be used on any helmet and is quite easy to use as well.
Q: How can I make my motorcycle helmet more visible?
Ans: There are various ways to make your helmet more visible. But applying reflective tapes or stickers on it or wearing a white helmet are the most efficient steps.
Q: How does the black reflective tape work?
Ans: Under natural lighting, black reflective tapes are not so noticeable. However, their main job is to reflect light. Which they do brightly whenever the light is shined upon it.
Q: What is the difference between reflective and retro-reflective?
Ans: The main difference is the direction of the reflected light. In reflective tapes, the light is reflected in a different direction than the source. On the other hand, in retro-reflective tapes, the light is reflected directly to the source from where it came.
Q: How to Remove Reflective Tape?
Ans: Using a dryer, apply heat to the tape. With the help of a sharp knife lift a corner and then grasp it to remove it from the surface. Scrape off the residue and then apply vegetable oil to get rid of any remaining adhesive.
The helmet is not the only place where you can apply reflective tape and stickers to increase your visibility. You can use it anywhere on the motorcycle to catch more eyes on the road. However, there are other ways to make yourself more detectable on the road as well.
Unfortunately, about 4.24% of motorcycle accidents result in the death of the rider. That is why you need to do more than just applying tape on the helmet. Try to wear a white or high visible helmet. Use reflective tapes around the wheels. You can use LED lights to draw attention while on the road.