Consider this. A high speed collision with a medium sized deer can easily total a passenger car. A collision with larger animals such as cattle can result in severe injuries or death to the passengers of the vehicle and are almost always fatal to the animal. In all accidents involving animals, property damage can be substantial. Accidents involving livestock can be avoided if the animals are visible to approaching cars.
Daytime accidents are less prevalent since most livestock are clearly visible in daylight and tend to move slowly. This changes drastically at night. Animals in roadways can be almost invisible, especially if they are dark in color. The solution is simpler and cheaper than you would think.
Most cattle or livestock are marked with a plastic id tag. These tags range from 2″ x 2″ to 2.5″ x 3″. A simple rectangle or square of high visibility reflective tape placed on the back of the id tag can be seen clearly for hundreds of feet way. (high visibility = prismatic grade) A separate tag with reflective tape on both sides can also be used on the opposite ear. A fluorescent lime yellow, fluorescent orange, standard yellow or white color is recommended since these are the most visible.
This type of livestock marking is especially important in “open range” states.
Bulk tape or custom shapes can be purchased at www.reflectiveshapes.com or www.colebrothers.com . The reflective shapes site sells only prismatic grade tape (Reflexite V98 Conformable Prismatic). If you go to colebrothers.com you would want to look for the V92, V82, V97, V98 or SOLAS Reflexite material. These can be seen from much farther away.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida , Business & Innovation – Stanford University) 25 years of experience in the reflective safety business. Specializing in accident reduction for vehicles through increased visibility.