Hi-Viz believer or non believer?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Dusty1013, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Dusty1013

    Dusty1013 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Northeast Pa.
    I wear hi-viz and think it helps with people seeing me. I don't really give much thought as to looking cool for people I don't know. I also don't really care or judge people who want to wear a t-shirt and no helmet or whatever. I have on occasion heard "Well if your that scared why even ride?" I don't ride around scared, just think it increases my ability to be seen. No false sense of security wearing it or anything like that either. I do have a nice leather jacket I wear sometimes so I ride the same either way. A personal preference what you choose to wear when you ride and no business of mine. So are you a hi-viz believer or think it doesn't matter or is very low on the cool factor?
    #1
  2. wizze

    wizze Wizze = Wise

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,285
    Location:
    Jet City WA
    I would say non believer. I doubt people who don't see your bike would most likely not see your high viz either even with neon signs and fireworks. I'm sure others will swear by it and have "OMG I would be dead without hi viz" stories. IMO opinion hi viz is equal to revving your engine at a stop light. But what do I know, if you feel better wearing it and it gets you out on 2 wheels then go for it.
    #2
  3. dasrider

    dasrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    Apex, NC
    I think that's a bit of a stretch. So every time you see someone wearing hi-viz the first thing you equate them to is some douche nozzle that revs his engine for a "look at me" reaction?


    Having said that, I don't know if there is any way to substantiate whether or not hi-viz gear gets your average motorist's attention. It sure can't hurt though. I still think the best way to avoid being hit by a cage is to ride like they're out to kill you. Keep your situational awareness on high and your head on a swivel.
    #3
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,085
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    High-viz is good for helping drivers who are paying attention see you sooner, but shouldn't be considered helpful attracting the attention of those who aren't.

    So no, I don't consider it an effective safety device.
    #4
  5. wizze

    wizze Wizze = Wise

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,285
    Location:
    Jet City WA

    My thinking is if loud pipes save lives so does loud gear. :lol3
    #5
  6. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Sokath, his eyes opened!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,269
    Location:
    The Holy City
    I don't see how Hi-Viz/reflective garments could possibly hurt your visibility. So long as you ride assuming no one sees you regardless of what you're wearing you're better off than most.

    It would be interesting to see a poll on this thread (although I'm sure it's been done before).
    #6
  7. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,324
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I've seen cars pull out in front of school busses, even brighter painted hotel vans, huge orange snowplows and even trains. Not to mention a bunch of brightly colored motorcycles.

    I prefer stealth. They can't hit what they can't see.
    #7
  8. boxermoose

    boxermoose Now fully goosed

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,941
    Location:
    Gulf Coast TX
    ditchs my HiViz jacket after I found to many drivers were drifitng over my way - I suspect it's the old "drive where you look" thing
    #8
  9. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,437
    Location:
    Nature Coast, Florida
    I agree that it helps those that are actively trying to look out for others, but to the typical brain dead driver I doubt it is of much benefit.

    Will never forget sitting at a red light hearing a fire truck with sirens blaring coming up towards our intersection from the right side direction. The light turned green for our lanes and this guy starts blowing his horn at the guy in front of him. Well the guy in front of him obviously heard the sirens as well, and was waiting as the rest of us were, so the impatient horn blower pulls around the guy in front of him, zips out into the intersection right in front of the fire truck. Luckily for all involved the fire truck was taking a right, and had to slow down or he would have plowed that impatient idiot right in the passenger side.

    People pull out in front of trains, 18 wheelers, etc, etc, etc, good luck with loud pipes, or hi-vis. Best to ride like you're invisible, because to many out on the road, you are.
    #9
  10. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    941
    Location:
    VA
    my riding buddies and I all started wearing hi-viz due to the DoD requirements to ride onto a base. But continue to ride with it even years later. I don't know if it makes us more noticeable, but it's no more expensive than 'cool guy' black.

    We all recently stopped to eat during a ride and another patron at the burger place asked my buddy if he was working on the highway and how the traffic looked going south. Definitely a LOL moment looking at my buddy trying to figure out what the guy was talking about.
    #10
  11. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,379
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    so it couldn't HURT your chances to wear it on a bike. I'm a FF and we have to wear high viz gear (ie. vests) while on/near the road (working at an accident scene etc.); this is a Federal requirement based on research, etc. Here it is if you care: https://www.safetyequipment.org/c/std107-2010.cfm
    #11
  12. Seventy One

    Seventy One Tick Magnet

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    989
    Location:
    South Eastern Minnesota
    I went from a Hi-vis jacket to a tan Darien two piece and the difference was night and day.

    Once riding season hits I'll be looking for a Hi-vis vest to wear. It really works.
    #12
  13. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Consider the conditioning of most drivers. What are they trained to look for out of fear or safety concerns?

    There have been studies showing how motorcyclist whose bikes and gear look like moto-cops are more often seen than those that don't have that look.

    I would think that looking more like a construction worker, EMT, fireman, etc. will be something more drivers will notice before they will notice a rider who doesn't have this pattern and color.

    It isn't so much about the color itself as it is what the driver's mind is filtering for. Many are not looking for motorcycles, so, they don't see us. But, they have programmed themselves to alert to "threats" which include this particular class of Hi-viz adorned personnel.

    This is appealing to the lizard-brain which sub-consciously picks things out of the background and brings it to the level of conscious attention.
    #13
  14. deutchman

    deutchman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Cincinnati & Ft. Pierce, FL.
    I have had motorists come up to me while refilling and explain that they have been following me for the last 50/60 miles and wanted to see my jacket close up. (Aerostich road crafter and a full suit) comments were that I shone like a beacon ad the reflective fabric could be seen from half a mile away.
    #14
  15. Avocet

    Avocet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    549
    Location:
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Hi-viz is no guarantee that you'll be seen. It's just one item in your collection of protective strategies that you use to stay as safe as possible while riding. I find it very hard to believe that Hi-viz never helps under any circumstances, so why not use it to increase your chances of remaining safe, even if it's only by a little?
    #15
  16. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,589
    Location:
    Gateway to the Sandhills
    On more than one occasion, a first responder civilian has thanked me for wearing hi-viz and full gear. While not lizard-brained cagers, clearly it got noticed by someone.:clap
    #16
  17. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,377
    Location:
    dumfrie scotland
    Some Uk bike cops have been taken out wearing hiviz and with blue lights and siran. If the car driver doe not look then it does not matter what you wear.
    #17
  18. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,361
    Location:
    VA
    Wearing a Joe Rocket hi-viz jacket gets a noticeable reaction from drivers compared to a black leather Brooks jacket. With the black Brooks, more drivers tailgate and drive closer. With the hi-viz, more drivers keep their distance.

    I have no idea why, but the effect is consistent. The hi-viz jacket is worn in the summer/warm weather and the Brooks in cold/cooler weather. One thing I have not tried is wearing the Brooks jacket with a hi-viz vest. I have noticed people burst out laughing when I wear the hi-viz jacket off the bike. That never happens with the Brooks, so I think it has something to do with the colors.
    #18
  19. FrogAndTrumpet

    FrogAndTrumpet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Don't ask me, I'm lost too!
    Yesterday I bought a Triumph hi-viz rain jacket. I must be getting old and sensible... :gerg

    However I resisted the urge to buy the matching hi-viz rain trousers - so it looks as if I'm not ready to join the pipe-and-slippers brigade just yet! :D
    #19
  20. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA.
    I wear High Vis. That being said, it is just another tool in the box. Wearing all the high vis clothing in the world won't help you if your riding skills suck and you have no clue how to position yourself correctly in traffic.

    I have noticed that other drivers seem to have a different attitude towards you, they give you more space - and honeslty with as garish as the color really is, I dont think there's any question that it does make you more visible.
    #20