Oh, reflectors and roads, oh my!

As we driving from Jack’s house (oh and what a wonderful dinner it was), I spotted an interesting type of reflector on the road.

The other side of the road—traffic going the opposite direction—had reflectors that looked red. The reflectors on our side of the road was the standard glowy white. I looked back on the red reflectors as we passed them and to my surprise, they were not red. They were white again. It was puzzling me and Chris said that it was because of the taillights on cars.

But no it wasn’t. Only one side of the reflector was red—the one facing opposing traffic. The rest of the reflector was all glowy white. Possibly to provide an affordance to help crazy drivers from driving on the wrong side of the road (I hope the designers had validated that drivers would really take notice of red reflectors and figure out they’re driving the wrong way).

So last month, on my way to find free pancakes from IHOP, I drove on the wrong side of the road for about a block. It was because I didn’t know there was a divider separating the road and it looked like a double lane road. I made a left and wondered why a car honked at me. Fortunately, no traffic was heading toward me. So by the time I realized (when I got to the intersection), I swung into the nearest driveway to correct my direction. However, would the reflectors have helped me? Better yet, what should have happened was that a “ONE WAY” sign could have been bigger, reflective and thus prominent.

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