Hi Viz or Regular color on jacket?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by guiri, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Dave1

    Dave1 No Regrets

    Feb 19, 2012
    Jersey Shore
    I have a hi viz jacket and helmet. People have told me that i am very visible. Like others have said, try to stack the deck in your favor.
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005
    I use zero windshields and my jacket shows it.

    I have the Darien high-vis and like it although it's ugly. A fellow in the next town got one more recently and his looks bright and shiny. He also rides behind a big Parabellum windshield while I'm out there in the breeze.
  3. Der Berliner

    Der Berliner Adventurer

    May 23, 2008
    For me it's this hi-viz vest ( 'http://safetynetdirect.com/popup_image/pID/1184' orange version) over gray jacket. When the vest is faded after some washings just toss it and get a new one... They come real cheap.

    Cheers Der Berliner
  4. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Dec 4, 2003
    Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
    I've done some research, of research in this area...

    White helmets are under represented in crashes as much as 30%
    The great thing about white helmets is they are the most visible in the widest range of conditions.
    Yellow helmets were also under represented, but by less of a margin.

    The data isn't as clear on Hi Viz jackets or vest, but they also show under representation,

    Think, when it comes to hi-viz gear and it's under representation in crash studies, is that because there's fewer riders with the gear, or the people who wear them are more cautious in their riding or is it just easier to see the rider.

    Blue jackets also stand out more then black or grey, but along with red their night time visibility is reduced to near that of black.

    Aux lights also help a rider to be seen especially when placed low on the forks and wide, the hypothesis is that it makes it easier for people to understand that it's a motorcycle they are looking at.
    Headlight modulators also work, of course by "work" I mean that there is a reduction in the number of riders who crashed with headlight modulators on in the crash study.

    With this in mind,

    I wear an orange helmet and yellow jacket or a yellow retro-reflective band if I'm wearing my leather jacket.

    On my commuter I'm going to be adding LED lights and a bright high viz stripe to the top of my mini windscreen.

    The thing with hi-viz gear, it's passive, you the rider play a very important role. Think of it as being actively conspicuous.
    With lane choice and position, when and where you are at all times. hi-viz gear is just an additional tool not a magic trick.

    I've been wearing a bright orange helmet for 15 years and a yellow jacket for about 5 years.
    I still have people turn in front of me, but I've noticed that I have fewer close calls then I used to have.
    People see me, at least I'll see someone start to pull out then stop, or start to turn and stop. Not very scientific
    but to me, it keeps me wearing stuff that helps me be seen.

    I'm thinking the next helmet will be a solid white one with a retro reflective white stripe added. But yellow or Orange may still win out.
  5. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Aug 18, 2009
    Vienna, Austria
    From a UK article on the topic, one that I agree with,

    Good conspicuity is not just about what a rider wears or whether they have lights on the bike, but also about good road positioning, speed and direction – as well as considering the blind spots and vision limitations of other drivers and vehicles around them.

    Hi-vis clothing is unlikely to improve conspicuity on bright sunny days when visibility is good and it may even lull people into a false sense of security. However, we would always advise people to wear it in poor weather or low light conditions, when some drivers may struggle to see and identify a motorcycle and rider or indeed a cyclists or pedestrian.

    From reading this, and other threads herea and on other forums I'm starting to get the idea that some people think that wearing hi viz makes them bulletproof so they relax the other, more effective, safety measures that a biker has available to them (see 1st paragraph).

    Suffice to say that I wear what I like and I have no hi viz gear or white helmets. I've had a few close calls but, thankfully, have always been able to ride out of the danger zones.
  6. aeneas

    aeneas Adventurer

    Nov 22, 2012
    Belgium, Europe
    I have a hiviz jacket and helmet. Even put 2 reflective decals on the back of my helmet (cut to shape and with black marker so they look like cat eyes) as the helmet doesn't reflect light in the night.
    Had a hiviz jacket for years but as a large part of it is hidden by my topcase I recently got this helmet.

    I commute daily in an urban area and now in winter it's often dark / getting dark (but not everyone is driving with lights on), rainy, .. when I'm on the road. Watching other motorcycles I noticed hiviz helmets stand out more in these conditions than hiviz jackets.

    But it all depends on the conditions you drive on, what weather, urban area, ... during the summer my black jacket will probably get noticed better than a hiviz jacket.
  7. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

    Dec 17, 2009
    Southern Appalachians
    Real men can wear light red without issue.

    FWIW, I bet large dollars that a neon pink jacket would catch even more attention than a hiviz yellow one, especially on a 200+ lb male.

    I mean, its all about being seen, right? All about safety, right? :evil

  8. guiri

    guiri Guest

    Well, I went with a greyish/blueish jacket from Bilt (cycle gear) which was mainly due to size limitations
    for my chunky body.

    Helmet HAS a rear LED and the luggage has led's on the back and I intend to put extra lights in the front
    so I SHOULD be good but like someone said, can't have enough.

    Thanks for all the replies guys

  9. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

    Dec 14, 2010
    Here's a Hi-Viz story for you : My son rides a BMW F 650, black, with Jesse Bags......he recently had a reflective vest made for him in Orlando, Florida by some outfit that will print anything on it you want. So he chose a hi-viz lime with blue
    stripes running over the chest and shoulders and down the back. Right across the back is printed " MOTO " in reflective white. Now he sees that morons in cars will pull over for him, slow down, give him more room, any number of polite gestures that mean a safer ride. He's not meaning to act like a LEO, he just wears his vest . It's the colors that do it. The blue, especially, a bright police blue combined with the letters MOTO make drivers react and behave better. By the way, those letters are printed on a black panel inserted across the shoulders, highly visible.
  10. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Aug 22, 2012
    Orlando Fl

    That's exactly what I do. If you come close to the lines, usually you can get the cars around you to give you a bit of space.

    I also flick my break light rather than let it be on steady when I can.
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Feb 11, 2005
    Alexandria, VA

    High Viz! :evil

    Jim :brow
  12. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

    Jul 22, 2004
    Bay Area
    That would piss me off; it looks blinding on my screen. I think you make yourself a target.
  13. guiri

    guiri Guest

    Very cool idea
  14. guiri

    guiri Guest

    Yeah but that depends on how high you turn them on. They're NOT supposed to blind people.

    In traffic I think they should on low so that people SEE that it is a bike and with the ability to turn them on max when you're on country rods or something where you NEED the light to avoid deer and so on.
    That is MY intention anyway.
  15. Bounder

    Bounder ExternallyDisplaced

    Mar 2, 2011
    West Cork, Ireland
    Not sure what individual police forces use in the different states but in the UK they commonly use Hi-vis with Battenburg (checkered) banding.
    I thought this vest was a particularly good example of similar clothing.
  16. Krazyjohnny

    Krazyjohnny Been here awhile

    Mar 25, 2011
    McKinney, TX
    I would suggest some sort of Hi-viz with a contrasting dark color (black or blue). That is what I have noticed to get me noticed the best. Be aware that the Hi-viz will fade with time. I wear a Aerostitch Hi-viz yellow with black ballastics on the shoulders, knees and elbows. I get addressed as an officer alot when off the bike going in and out of places for quick errands. I also notice that folks tend to "part the seas" so to speak for me when on the road.

    Just simply my observations.:D
  17. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

    Sep 26, 2006
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Yeah. I'd be careful with that. He may not be "meaning to act like a" Police Officer, but he knows he does and is taking advantage of it.

    He may run into an Officer or a Trooper that isn't going to buy the "Well, I can't help it if other people think I'm an officer."

    He needs to lose the "police blue" stripe.

    A bright orange stripe is just as noticeable and people aren't going to... um... "Confuse" him with a Police Officer.
  18. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Feb 11, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Not to worry, they are angled down 5°, so unless you are 20 feet in front of me they are not blinding. I rode behind a friend yesterday and he said they are fine so long as I wasn't less than 20 feet away.

    I'll see if I get flashed, though I didn't yesterday in 180 miles of riding.

    Jim :brow
  19. navi

    navi Been here awhile

    Mar 22, 2003
    lower main land, canada
    Totally agree, and Hi-Vis clothing can only benefit good riding tactics

    There is a reason that HiVis is mandatory in many industries, it just plain works !

    But...... Wear what you want to wear.

    But ..... Please don't try to rationalize that it's not really all that effective

    If I could only have one set of gear it would be HiVis and a white helmet.
    Worse case scenario for my normal riding day is +2c / raining / 60-100k speed / moderate - heavy big city commuter traffic.

    Lucky for me, I'm a bit a gear whore and have a bunch to chose from, but I'm not confused about what safety equipment gives me the best chances to be seen in traffic.

    Be informed, make informed decisions

    My 2
  20. guiri

    guiri Guest

    Cool. I see lots of people here that have their (car) headlights way up high and are always blinding people.
    Back where I come from when they inspect the vehicle, it takes much longer and they check lots more
    stuff including the headlight alignment.

    Here, I have NEVER seen anyone do it and I've been here for 15 years...