Swiss population not visible enough out and about

Nov 2, 2021.

During the darker months of the year, visibility is especially important, on and off the road. Although many people in Switzerland are regularly out and about in the dark, many take no extra precautions to make themselves visible. And yet a third of people surveyed say that it is only luck that has kept them from having an accident caused by poor visibility. Six per cent have, in fact, experienced such an accident. The majority would like to see more rules and sanctions concerning visibility. This was the result of a survey carried out by Generali Switzerland to mark the launch of the prevention initiative “Visibly safe together”.

The clocks went back at the weekend and with darkness falling earlier, outdoor visibility is once again becoming an important issue. As a survey by Generali Switzerland shows, 80 per cent of the Swiss population is out and about in the dark at least once a week. That includes 70 per cent on foot, 55 per cent by car, 29 per cent by public transport and 16 per cent by bicycle. Women tend to avoid darkness more than men; seven per cent of women surveyed said they never go out in the dark. For men, this figure is just one per cent.


Not enough concern about visibility
The vast majority of the Swiss population say that the issue of visibility when out and about is important or very important to them (82 per cent). Nevertheless, 41 per cent of respondents take no precautionary measures concerning their visibility when they are out and about in the dark. And of the 59 per cent who take precautions, more than half do no more than adjust their pace on foot, or by car or other vehicles. Only 44 per cent always use lights or attach reflectors to their clothing when they are out – important measures for increasing visibility. Only 39 per cent of those surveyed wear light-coloured clothing. Awareness of this issue increases with age. And respondents with children in their household are also much more likely to take precautions to make themselves clearly visible. But not so much for their children as for themselves. Just 36 per cent of those surveyed who take precautions and have children also make sure that their children are clearly visible in the dark with reflectors and lights.


Poor visibility leads to accidents
The experience of the respondents shows that visibility in road traffic is a key factor. More than a third say they are lucky that they have not had an accident in their life due to poor visibility.
Six per cent of respondents were less lucky. They were either involved in an accident because they were not easily visible (four per cent), or they caused an accident themselves because another person was not sufficiently visible (two per cent). A total of 80 per cent of the Swiss population believe that other people need to make themselves more visible in traffic.


Respondents would like to see greater awareness and more rules
The respondents agree that there is a need for action on the issue of visibility. More than half believe that there are not enough measures for raising awareness about visibility. And a little over half are in favour of more rules concerning visibility. Women (60 per cent) consider rules to be more important than men (50 per cent). And respondents from French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino (65 per cent) are more likely to support rules than those from German-speaking Switzerland (51 per cent). Many believe that wearing reflectors should be compulsory. Fines for people who are not sufficiently visible are cited as a legitimate means of improving road safety.


New prevention initiative “Visibly safe together”
To prevent non-occupational accidents caused by poor visibility, Generali Switzerland is launching the prevention initiative “Visibly safe together” with the technical support of the BFU, the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention. Generali Switzerland is raising awareness of visibility on and off the road with its new campaign “The Brightest”. In addition to the campaign for the general public, the insurance company also aims to raise awareness among primary school pupils. Teachers can introduce their pupils to the topic in a playful and readily comprehensible way using an interactive online quiz and other materials.


Marathon runner Tadesse Abraham is “one of The Brightest”
Tadesse Abraham, the fastest marathon runner in Switzerland and brand ambassador for Generali Switzerland, is an important pillar of the prevention initiative. As a long-distance runner, he is often out and about in the dark. “For me, it is very important to see and be seen in the dark, not just as a runner but as a father as well. I do everything I can to protect my family from dangers when they are out and about. That is why I had no hesitation in helping Generali Switzerland raise awareness of the issue of visibility,” says Tadesse Abraham.


The survey, which is representative of the population as a whole, was carried out on behalf of Generali Switzerland between 4 and 10 October 2021, with 539 people taking part.



You can download documentation on “The Brightest” here. / / /  




The Generali Group is an independent Italian group with a strong international presence. Established in 1831, the company is now one of the world’s leading insurers. Generali has around 72,000 employees serving more than 65.9 million customers in 50 countries. The Group’s total income came to more than EUR 70.7 billion in 2020, making Generali the market leader in Western Europe. The company is also an increasingly important player in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Asia.


Generali’s roots in Switzerland date back to 1887. Today, Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd. operates throughout Switzerland, with two head offices – one in Adliswil and one in Nyon – and a wide network of agencies. The insurer has more than one million customers and offers products for every situation in life. These include property insurance, legal expenses insurance, life insurance and pension solutions. Generali partners with start-ups to develop innovative products. The company is the first Swiss insurer to launch a fully digital pillar 3a.