We hear all the time that wearing brightly colored vests – be it yellow, green or even orange – help other motorists identify us easier. We hear stories from riders about how, if they weren’t wearing that shockingly loud riding gear, they most certainly would have ended up in an accident. Perhaps you might even have a memory of being saved by your Hi-Viz Vest. If you do, we’d love you hear about it! But, how much of it is fact? Is there more than anecdotal evidence? Does Hi-Viz apparel really keep us safer while riding our motorcycles?
According to a study out of New Zealand, it does. They looked at 463 cases where a motorcyclist was in a crash that led to hospitalization or death, as well as 1233 roadside interviews with riders.
What did they find? Well first, most crashes occur in urban areas during the day while the weather is fine. Furthermore, they calculated that wearing “any reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk” when compared to riders without it (and increased the riders confidence). They also discovered that wearing a white helmet (as opposed to black) yielded 24% lower risk. Riding with your headlights on during the daytime (three quarters of the riders in the study did) was “associated with a 27% lower risk.”
Their conclusion? If you want to remain inconspicuous as a motorcyclist and wear dark-colored gear you increase the risk of injury due to a crash. If, on the other hand, you choose to wear bright or lighter colored gear and keep your headlights on during the day, you can considerably reduce motorcycle crash-related injury and death. Of course, we all know that there are many additional factors out there in real-world conditions that can lead to an accident. It’s nice to know, however, that there are some simple and relatively cost effective ways to make the joy of riding more safe!
Ride safe with these Hi-Viz Gear
Be seen with these white helmets