Why motorcyclists should wear high-visibility clothing

When motorcyclists consider safety gear, they might think of jackets with flame-retardant properties or riding pants with double layers of protection. However, one piece of essential gear that many riders forget about is high-visibility clothing.

There is apparel that manufacturers specifically design to make motorcyclists more visible. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported that 26% of motorcycle fatalities are due to other road users not noticing motorcyclists. With this in mind, high-visibility clothing can play a major role in saving people’s lives.

Reluctance among motorcyclists

The U.S. Department of Transportation conducted 18 focus group studies with 137 motorcyclists. Most participants said that they did not regularly wear high-visibility clothing, and some said that they did not think that this gear would make them any safer on the road. Also, a few participants associated high-visibility clothing with amateur motorcyclists who are not confident in their riding abilities.

Support for the benefits of high-visibility clothing

Despite the skepticism that some riders have, the NCBI reported on several studies that showed that gear with bright, fluorescent and reflective colors helps people see motorcyclists better, even from far away. However, the NCBI also noted that the most important factor was how much the gear stood out from the surrounding environment. For example, darker colors proved to be beneficial in daylight.

No matter how experienced a person is with riding motorcycles, it is impossible to predict when another motorist will make a mistake. Wearing high-visibility clothing is one of the simplest and most efficient ways that motorcyclists can keep themselves safe on the road.