Motorcyclists are highly conscious of the fact that the roads are dangerous and that the drivers of regular motor vehicles don’t always see them. Sometimes those other drivers are distracted, but they may also simply “look right through” a motorcyclist simply because they don’t expect to see one.
High-visibility safety gear is designed to counter that particular problem — but a lot of bikers don’t wear it. Why not?
A new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) offers some clues. In a study conducted by the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP), motorcyclists in 18 different focus groups were asked about their attitudes toward high-visibility gear. Here were some of the surprising answers:
- The majority of riders shunned high-visibility gear entirely, largely because they hated the way that it looks. Overwhelmingly, they indicated they disliked the neon yellow of most high-visibility gear and would find just about any other color (orange, bright blue, neon purple or pink, for example) more acceptable.
- Many riders felt that the high-visibility gear wasn’t worth the investment. They didn’t believe that it would actually make other drivers aware of their presence or improve their safety at all, particularly if their vehicles already had lighting enhancements designed to increase visibility.
- Other riders simply have a lot of faith in their own skill on the back of a motorcycle than anything. They don’t feel the need for extra-visibility, although some said they would consider it in poor weather conditions, on long-distance drives and during other risky situations.
Hopefully, this study will be used to inform changes in manufacturing when it comes to safety gear and in rider education. Anything that can be done to improve the safety of motorcyclists on the road is a move in the right direction.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident because a driver was distracted by their cellphone or just oblivious to your presence on the road, it can take years of painful recovery to get back on your feet. Find out what it takes to get fair compensation for your losses.