Hi-Viz believer or non believer?

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

  1. BossMaverick

    BossMaverick Been here awhile

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    IMHO:
    Triangle of light>Hi-Viz>Light Colors>Dark Colors

    Of course there is always more too it than that, but that is my opinion simply put.

    The ultimate answer is that there is no perfect solution. If people can't see (or don't care about) huge freight trains that have a very bright triangle of light, are painted orange, have LOUD horns, and cross at only mark crossings, there is less hope for motorcyclists.
    #61
  2. bracky72

    bracky72 Long timer

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    It works great for being seen by everybody except the jerk that hits you. Don't ask me how I know. :hmmmmm
    #62
  3. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    When someone assigns a motivation to anyone else's actions the discussion often is not about the subject anymore. "You're not man enough to ride a 'real' bike." "You hate America." "You're scared so you wear those crash pads and ugly jacket."

    I didn't hear your conversation but you probably shortened it to fit it into a post. It's possible that assigning you the ugliest motivation is an attempt to shame you into conforming to what the cool kids do. Happens on this forum with everything from the cool dual-sport to the most authentic experience.

    People can wear hi-viz without being scared or believing in magic. But those two accusations can put you on the defensive. Once you start trying to defend yourself from the false motivation you've half lost the argument.
    #63
  4. Vandergraf

    Vandergraf --------------------

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    I ride a KLR and always wear my grey Motoport jacket and black pants.
    I alternate days between my 2 FF helmets, 1 is white and the other black.
    I believe other drivers give me more room when I wear the white helmet over the black one. I assume because it's more visible, but some others have mentioned it might trigger some reflex in drivers brains "White Helmet = Cop".

    I keep a high vis vest in my top box and always put it on when it's raining or when riding after dark, or riding in the woods during hunting season. I believe I should probably wear it more often, but most of my riding is just my 15 minute commute to work on back-roads. I know, famous last words...
    #64
  5. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I agree,if high-viz gear is making you trust a car driver even a little bit,throw the high-viz in the dumpster. Car drivers are out to kill you 100% of the time,this may not be true but if you want to last long you gotta ride that way.

    I had a hi-viz jacket briefly and could not force myself to put the thing on much,and if worn much it fades,becomes bug/dirt stained and until its not really hi-viz anymore. But is as ugly/grubby a piece of clothing as can be bought.
    I guess looks matter some. Target fixation is also a proven thing,some cage drivers fixate on bright objects and drive straight into them,maybe camo is better.:rofl
    #65
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    +1. All is lost the minute you think a car driver sees you because he is looking you in the eye . Their mind is far away dreaming of pleasant beaches or how to sneak the girlfriend by the wife for another month.
    #66
  7. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    I am a firm believer in accident data and statistics. My primary faith in them is that politics and greed do not appear to have tainted the data. As such, most (~80%) motorcycles accidents happen with the motorcycle hitting something in front of them. If a headlight(s) aren't making you more visible - a hi-viz jacket or helmet will not either. Hi-viz will not help with cell phone users, distracted drivers, bicyclists, slower traffic, etc.

    I believe (with no statistical or anecdotal evidence) that one is less likely to get run over by following traffic after falling off a motorcycle on a busy highway when wearing Hi-viz. I also believe that the chances of getting hit from the rear are slightly reduced when wearing Hi-viz. But, the improvement is slight. Where I see Hi-viz being a more significant improvement is when riding with traffic in multiple lanes in the same direction. While the accident rate is already low in such circumstances, I still believe Hi-viz provides some benefit.

    The above is not to discount the psychological effect of color schemes on human behavior. When people are conditioned to slow down around construction crews and others in the road wearing Hi-viz clothing that same effect should be associated with a motorcyclist wearing Hi-viz. However, that is conjecture on my part.

    I always ride like I am invisible. With such a mindset, having a black jacket may provide some psychological advantage - as in "damn, no one will notice me while wearing this". I also ride with the mindset that all drivers on the road are morons and retards with barely enough ability to operate their motor vehicle - as in "I need to keep an eye on this moron".
    #67
  8. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    I am a believer that high vis as a single layer of a comprehensive safety system has its place. I participate in a lot of mishap analysis professionally. It's rarely ever a single factor that causes a mishap. It's multiple. For that reason layered safety strategies reduce mishaps. I ride a big touring bike with a tail case and windscreen so large that my torso is completely hidden both front and back. I went with a bright white helmet to increase conspicuity. I don't operate under the assumption that it helps anyone see me though. I don't linger beside other vehicles or in blind spots. Inasmuch as possible I build a reactionary bubble around me and have an escape plan in place when my bubble collapses. I travel through all intersections on high alert and assume anyone in a position to left turn in front of me will.
    #68
  9. Dusty1013

    Dusty1013 Been here awhile

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    In hindsight it was a poor choice to end my opening question with "Or is it to low on the cool factor." I would hope it has nothing to do with that. The posts above by people who don't wear it is simply a matter of - They don't believe it works or they are exercising their free will and are choosing not to wear it. As simple as that. Guess it's just as bad saying "what it's not cool so you don't wear it." As it is saying "If you are that scared drive a car or why do BMW riders wear that dumb color." Not my intention to throw stones from my end of the spectrum. Most people don't wear it and wanted to hear what people thought. Ride safe, wear what you want in my book.
    #69
  10. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    I wear a hi-viz suit, but have also worn a black suit with hi-viz ballistics (motoport). IMHO, the best option for visibility is a hi-viz helmet, with SOLAS for night time visibility. Highest point on the bike, and the most visible to the cagers. . .. :clap

    Notice the yellow helmet in this shot?

    [​IMG]
    #70
  11. Falconx84

    Falconx84 Lurker

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    In all fairness, the white helmet of the other rider caught and held my attention first
    #71
  12. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    There's something to what he's saying,

    Some riders let their lack of skill and/or confidence influence them to make poor decisions such as riders who ride with excessively bright high beams, or HIDs in reflector housings because it "may help" without thought for how it effects others.

    Obviously it's highly unlikely high-viz will have any negative impact under most conditions, but when you see a rider covered head to toe in it, their bike covered in reflective tape, and running crazy bright lights, it does raise the question.
    And its a question we should all ask, is what I'm doing to communicate with drivers who are paying attention, or am I doing it in the vain hope it "may help" an inattentive driver see me. The problem with "may help" is you don't know if it does or not.

    It may be harsh, but IMO, if high-viz or any other visibility enhancement has a noticeable effect, its adressing a rider issue, not a gear issue.
    The real question isn't if you believe in it or not, its the why and what. Why you're using it, and what you expect it to do.

    A tool is only as good as the person using it.
    #72
  13. WYO George

    WYO George Long timer

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    I'm a big believer that high visibility gear is a great tool to assist in being seen. It is not a cure-all, nor will it "fix" drivers who fall into the "Four D's" (drunk, drugged, distracted or just plain dumb)

    With that said, I still ride a Confederate Grey DR650 while wearing black pants and a black jacket. I do have a silver helmet and reflective stripes for night, but I can't bring myself to wear glowing yellow gear all the time.
    #73
  14. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    For three seasons, I'm a hi-viz Darien, white Qwest wearer...

    In summer, I go with an Olympia hi-viz mesh suit with the white Qwest.

    I generally stay out of cities, interstates, etc. as I prefer small towns and rural rides.

    NFE

    PS: Hell, yes I've been scared... every time I climbed up on a tank, every time I pre-flighted, every time I entered a burning building, every time I crank a moto. If not fully scared, then at least focused. The world is a dangerous place... but have fun.
    #74
  15. KoolBreeze

    KoolBreeze Been here awhile

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    I don't think it's "DEPENDANT" but it's just another means for those that so desire to increase their odds... which it does.

    can't imagine how anybody reasons or argues it doesn't increase the safety factor to some degree.

    but like I said... I choose to live otherwise. :evil


    yea... idk about this. I trust white is better than grey or black, but not as good as bright orange, yellow or neon colors. (that stand out from nature or aren't in natures "warning" hues. read: yellow/orange)

    I know for an absolute fact you can and will spot a bright yellow vehicle from miles away on a long freeway stretchin comparison to a white one (say when you are going down a slight grade then the freeway goes up a slight grade on the opposite side of a valley. we have a bit of this in socal)


    this is an absolute. so while I read those advocates of white stating it's about contrast... there's a whole lot of that out there and natures warning colors still stand out more.

    that fact understood a white helmet is better than a grey or black one. (no way as good as all dressed out in hi-viz)

    I would consider owning a white helmet with some dress up graphics of sort. thinking my next will be the C3 pro in North American graphics for instance.

    it this makes me more visible.... then okie dokie. wouldn't be my main reason behind buying it.
    #75
  16. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Very odd that black gear is "normal" and light-colored helmets and bright gear must be defended. Some posts say that it shows dirt more.

    Do you believe that black gear helps you ride more safely? Why are you scared to wear non-conforming colors?
    #76
  17. Triumphdave

    Triumphdave Bean here back again

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    Yes indeed. You have to be the mind reader on the bike!
    Sometime pipes help and always have the headlight on so cant see that the high viz will help to the front,
    Some might think you are CHIPS!

    He hee
    #77
  18. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    [​IMG] I extended the tail of my scooter six inches with a modified tail light because the original was tucked back under the spare:[​IMG] The new fixture (top photo) has double LEDs and really shows up.
    #78
  19. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Have you tried a hi-viz cop 'stache?

    :lol3
    #79
  20. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

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    My son found a shop in Orlando that makes Hi Viz garments and had them sew up a vest .....police blue with yellow stripes over each shoulder. Just by riding around town he has seen drivers pull over for him and generally check him out longer than usual. It's the blue that does it , in my opinion, that police blue strikes deep into most brains. It also helps that he rides a BMW
    F 650 with big silver Jesse Bags. Summary : He looks like a cop.
    #80