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post #1 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Might not help

Probably worth reading:


Less an issue of low visibility, than the cager's brain being shut down. If so, all the hi-vis gear in the world isn't going to help.

Maybe we need to get jackets with puppies or kittens printed on them, to 'awaken' the brains of inattentive drivers. Or maybe really attractive naked women. Waken the men with desire, the women with jealousy.
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post #2 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 12:59 PM
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It doesn't surprise me. After all, if a driver can pull out in front of a giant lime green fire truck with flashing lights, or a police car with a Vector light bar in a full seizure-inducing light display, the fact that they'll pull out in front of a guy in a high viz jacket and helmet doesn't seem outrageous at all.
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post #3 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 03:04 PM
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A few years ago I was on a group ride through Southeast Missouri. I was wearing a bright green/yellow Hi-Viz Olympia 3/4 length mesh jacket. I stuck out like a sore thumb. About 60 mph on a country 2-laner, 50 feet ahead this gal looks right in my eyes and pulls right out in front of me, I missed her by 4 feet, no damage at all. I figured the Hi-Viz gave her something to aim at.
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post #4 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 03:52 PM
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Hi-viz has benefits

As a rider who primarily uses the bike to commute, it is discouraging when these studies confirm that we are making little headway in creating more awareness for motorcycles among the general driving population. As a result, I for one will continue to look for ways that I can stack the deck in my favor.

What is missing for me is a scientific comparison across all the various approaches to increasing our visibility - hi-viz clothing, daytime running lights, additional lights, brighter lights, flashing lights, weaving when approaching intersections, make the bike louder, lane position and following distance etc. Some of these we intuitively interpret as helpful in announcing our presence but how effective are they in doing so? In fact, a Google search will bring up pages of "10 ways to increase your visibility", however, none of these lists provide any data on how effective a particular approach is.

Back to the topic of the post, when is comes to hi-viz clothing, this danish study demonstrated a 47% reduction in accidents involving another vehicle for the group that was wearing hi-viz with retro-reflective highlights...

What is the evidence that wearing hi-vis clothing makes you a safer cyclist? - Cycling Weekly

While likely transferable, it should be kept in mind that this study focused on cyclists so the results may differ for when considering motorcyclists which are faster and travel with the traffic as opposed to being on the side of the road.
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post #5 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 03:55 PM
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The only thing I found that has some effect is a modulated headlight. Annoying to some but I think effective. On the current bike I have real bright aux lights (plus high viz gear) and they seem to have a similar effect. But you never know and never trust.
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post #6 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 04:22 PM
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The only 2 bikes that I have ridden in the past 45 years that always were seen by motorists were an ex-police bike that I rode while wearing a white helmet and blue leather jacket and a ratty, noisy (no mufflers) 650 twin with ape hanger bars while I wore a black jet helmet with my long hair and beard also a black jacket. Drivers see what is a threat very easily it seems, though not always, I still see drivers pull out in front of semi trailers. Ride like you are a warrior that every body else is trying to kill or maim, you will live much longer or assume that you are invisible. Stay alive enjoy riding, see you on the road.
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post #7 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 05:08 PM
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I wouldn't discourage anyone from wearing hi-viz clothing, because I'm sure there are cases where a driver wouldn't have seen you except they noticed that weird color in their field of view. After all, it doesn't cost any more than a regular jacket, and if it saves your ass once, then it was worth looking like a traffic cone all the other times you rode.

But it's not a silver bullet. The real issue in the US is that it's so damn easy to get a driver's license, with almost zero actual training in how to drive. My home state allowed you to get a permit at 16; some states have even lower ages. You only had to have a licensed driver with you while you had your permit; as soon as you took your test and passed it, they issued your license. The driver's test consisted of driving around a closed course in a parking lot, stopping at a stop sign, doing a three point turn, and parallel parking. You never actually got out on the road. There's no mandatory training; the only thing close was Driver's Ed in high school, and a lot of those programs have been the victim of budget cuts. And once you have that license, the assumption is that you now know how to drive, and nothing could be further from reality. We treat driving so cavalierly in the US that it's about ten times more difficult (and expensive) to get a concealed carry permit or a hunting license, both of which statistically are far safer than the average teen behind the wheel. And far too many Americans are arrogant about their driving abilities; they don't think anything about eating while they're driving down the road, or screwing around with their smartphones, or just in general not paying attention to what should be their only task: driving. And there isn't a solution; some token training program about motorcycle awareness isn't going to suddenly turn a rabble of HUA drivers into cautious ones. It's one of the prices we have to pay for having a big country with big suburbs and a shitty mass transportation infrastructure; basically, you have to let just about anyone with a pulse have a driver's license, or else the system falls apart.

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post #8 of 51 Old 01-05-2018, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by blaustrom View Post
The only thing I found that has some effect is a modulated headlight. Annoying to some but I think effective. On the current bike I have real bright aux lights (plus high viz gear) and they seem to have a similar effect. But you never know and never trust.
Bright aux lights have saved me from possible collision and been the reason many drivers have waited for the bike to pass on many occasions too.

There is usually another way.
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post #9 of 51 Old 01-06-2018, 02:02 AM
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I'm all about puppies, kittens, and naked women printed on jackets. Better yet, just have a naked woman as a passenger.
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post #10 of 51 Old 01-06-2018, 11:14 AM
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Bright and contrast are worth it

Collecting data to reach valid conclusions about visibility and collision rates is very expensive, because actual collisions are rare and relevant data is rarely collected.

I keep my and my machine bright because I notice bright colors, and figure if I do, others also do. My Strom is "silver", which means "camo" when viewed against asphalt roads. So I wear a bright green jacket and painted my top box bright green.

Good studies have shown that flashing lights are very difficult to ignore when people are paying any attention at all. Glancing at a flashing light is almost irresistable. I will eventually install a headlight modulator and brake light flasher.

None of these helps much when someone is texting, arguing with kids in the back seat, and so on. Our odds improve, that is all. To me, it is worth the effort.

Besides, black gets way too hot under summer sun.
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