For years, reflectors have proven their worth as lifesavers on the road. Even with the headlights and taillights on, nighttime driving, bad weather, and foggy conditions can still cause a lot of accidents. By reflecting even the smallest amount of light from odd angles, car reflectors alert drivers of another vehicle's presence. All automobiles are generally already equipped with regular front, side, and rear reflectors that are made of heavy-duty plastics. But if you damaged your reflectors, want more reflectors for additional protection, or just want to change the look of your reflectors, here are a few things that you might want to consider.
Where will you use it?
If you have a broken reflector, a simple OE replacement can be the quick fix to your dilemma-all you need is the make and model of your vehicle and you're all set. But if you own a large vehicle such as a truck or trailer, the law states that you have to have a certain additional number of reflectors in certain locations to maximize your visibility.
While they are known under one name, reflectors are not all similar. For instance, certain shapes and sizes work better in a particular location. Knowing the location that makes a reflector cover a wider angle can help you pick the right ones.
Where you will put the reflector also determines the installation type that you need. Some stick-on reflectors will work for most areas of your vehicle but they're not very durable. For larger vehicles, it's better to go for performance reflectors that come with heavy-duty mounting hardware so you don't have to worry too much about maintenance.
How do you want it to look?
The purpose of reflectors might mainly be for safety but there's no reason to forego style when looking for a new one. Luckily, modern reflectors now come in lots of designs and finishes to suit your styling needs.
To keep the clean lines of their cars, many choose to replace their regular red or amber reflectors with clear-finish, chrome-finish, smoked, or painted reflectors that match the color of their vehicle. These upgrades are usually pocket-friendly and are very easy DIY jobs. Others also prefer to change the shape of their reflectors but doing so requires a bit more money and effort.
What else should you know?
Before changing the look of your reflectors, make sure that you've checked your local laws. Reflector rules on large commercial vehicles are generally stricter when it comes to number, positioning, and color of reflectors but some states require that reflectors be a particular color for regular cars as well.