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What Makes These Drink Coasters So Special? They Save Lives

A new line of coasters does more than just prevent unsightly moisture stains.

image via youtube screen capture

Walking home in the dark after a night of drinking can be a harrowing experience. Sure, you might be feeling invincible to the world, but the world—particularly the automotive part of it—finds you entirely, tragically vincible. In South Africa’s poorly-lit townships, for example, dozens of pedestrians are estimated to be killed each week as they shamble home from bars, struck by oncoming cars whose drivers are simply unable to see the foot traffic in front of them until it is too late. To help ensure the safety of anyone walking home through dark streets at night, local liquor distributors Edward Snell & Co. Pty Ltd have come up with a deceptively simple solution: Disposable drink coasters.

Unlike the coasters you’re likely to find in most bars, ones which advertise a particular beer or spirit, these not only keep your table dry, but also transform into an ultra-reflective patch. Simply peel the “Reflector Protector” off its coaster base, stick it on your person, and, at the end of the night, stumble home having increased your visibility to oncoming traffic by a stunning nine hundred percent.

So far the Reflector Protectors have been distributed to a number of bars across Cape Town and Johannesburg, but Edward Snell & Co. Pty Ltd reportedly plan to put more of them into the field in the coming months.

Of course, there are plenty of other significant risks associated with a night of drinking. Ultimately, no coaster, regardless of how reflective, or innovative it may be, can absolutely ensure you will make it home safely at the end of a long night. Still, in communities where preventable deaths have become common place because of poorly lit roads, these patches could make up the difference between life and death.

[via designindaba]

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