do you guys believe in high vis? safety talk

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by willc86, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. willc86

    willc86 Been here awhile

    Mar 4, 2018
    So being a new rider and all, I am looking on the myths of High Vis (neon green yellow white etc)
    many people swear by them, many people think they can be more dangerous due to a psychological filter of the person wearing the high vis thinking they are safer so they are "less aware expecting cares will see them"

    I just bought a High Vis helmet and armor jacket (2xxl so I can wear additional armor when its very cold underneath in colorado)

    I know we probably do not want to talk about it nor even think about it, but I think it is important to do so and share our thoughts and tips.; especially for new riders. I think we need to take care of ea. other as a small community.

    I know being aware and a careful driver plays a huge part in being safe - some say if you are going too fast to avoid a car, then you are going to fast; meaning speeding is a huge culprit in playing safe as well. Other saftey issues such as -

    do not stay in the blind spot of the car,
    watch for that left turning car
    slow down to make sure you have enough stopping time if thats the case.
    Dont speed up in intersections
    wear high vis which can
    Dont speed (although its fun ;D)

    share your tips and thoughts. I believe this is a skill that can eventually be learned and embedded subconsciously
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  2. khager

    khager Long timer

    Sep 8, 2007
    Granbury, TX
    The other day I was behind a rider that had some kind of L.E.D. lights built into the back of his helmet that was synced with the taillight/brake light somehow. It would get brighter every time he hit the brakes kind of like the third brake light you have on cars.

    It worked pretty good from my perspective, since it was higher up at eye level. Might have to research this.
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  3. dddd

    dddd Long timer

    Jan 15, 2012
    Montreal, Canada
    helmet, no, too small.
    jacket, maybe (more surface, but too ugly).
    rainsuit, yes (helps in low light).
  4. willc86

    willc86 Been here awhile

    Mar 4, 2018
    hmm interesting!
  5. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

    Oct 11, 2011
    Eastern Panhandle, West Virginia
    I imagine there a few out there, but Nolan has had this system for a couple of years now:
    radmann10 likes this.
  6. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Riding a dangerously quiet bike.

    Jan 19, 2014
    Lancaster County, PA
    I figure, wear it like it works and ride like it doesn't.

    There are no magic bullets to protect us.
  7. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club.

    Oct 27, 2005
    Upstate SC
    These are good rules/guidelines, but there is much more. Situational awareness is very important and includes several of them.

    Don’t speed? It’s my observation that most cars and more than most motorcyclists break the speed limit. My thought is that you should pick your places carefully. Don’t be aggressive in traffic. Don’t be unpredictable. Absolute speed isn’t necessarily the issue. Situational awareness again.

    High Viz? It’s a good thing, although all my gear isn’t high viz. I think additional bright driving lights help more, as far as being seen. The triangle effect from the front is good. I think you’ll notice people recognize your presence more often.

    There is a wealth of knowledge on this topic. My advice? Training, training, training. There’s a lot available if you google it. Many riders I know take at least 1 course every 2 years, even though they’ve been riding over 20 years.

    Me? I don’t commute and avoid traffic as much as possible.
  8. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Mar 6, 2006
    One thing that is hard about ADVRider is that people here come from all kinds of different countries and riding environments. One great solution for one environment doesn't translate to all environments.

    I rode for many years in Idaho USA and for that environment I had adopted a bright sliver helmet and silver/gray riding jacket. In Idaho riding I was almost always in the sun and the sliver helmet would light up like a beacon. Very visible. Idaho traffic is generally not that dense. This worked well for Idaho riding.

    I also lived for 3 years near Portland OR in the Pacific Northwest. Riding there using the same strategy was a disaster. For a lot of the year the sun does not shine and every day is flat gray light. All things are shades of green and gray. My riding gear from Idaho made me almost invisible. Along with that the traffic is more dense and a lot of drivers are not very motorcycle aware.

    To survive my time in Oregon I changed to HighViz Helmet and HighViz Olympia Dakar jacket and added a flashing LED brake light bulb. I felt like this worked well for that environment and I was much more visible and had fewer encounters of cagers trying to kill me after the change to HiViz gear and flashing brake light.

    However, cagers did still try to occasionally kill me. HiViz riding gear is not the ultimate solution, it only helps in some riding environments. I have never felt that it hurt to make myself more visible to cage pilots.

    The best solution is to ride like you are invisible and always assume that the vehicles around you are going to try and kill you but adding HiViz gear to the mix can help and especially in the rain or flat light.
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  9. PARDAL1970

    PARDAL1970 Going somewhere...

    Mar 14, 2015
    Cascais, sunny Portugal
    The helmet (even if you consider it small)is always the highest point of the bike/rider combo so it the more visible one. Therefore I always, always buy white (or clear colored) helmets and I recommend everybody to do so. The jacket/ vest is also important especially when in low visibility conditions. Nevertheless the most important thing is to be aware that, no matter what you wear, you have to ride assuming NOBODY can see you. This is the rule ALWAYS (sorry for the Caps but it’s the best way to enforce the idea).

    Enviado do meu iPhone usando o Tapatalk
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  10. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Been here awhile

    Jan 7, 2012
    Corrales, New Mexico
    I am a big fan of Hi Vis, flashing tail lights, auxiliary light and anything to make you more visible. One thing that really helps for side road traffic and left turners is to weave in your lane as you approach. There is a video which describes it as the SMIDSY weave. My personal observation is it really helps. Our visual system does not easily detect something coming directly at you, because the only clue is the change in size of the approaching object. Our brain is good at detecting lateral movement.
    jkav, GordonLightfoot, NSFW and 14 others like this.
  11. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

    Aug 7, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    Yep, I'm a believer. I wear a bright yellow reflective vest over my outer jacket, also bright yellow helmet. My BMW (which is also yellow) has LED lights down low, by the engine cases, and they are always on if I'm riding in traffic.

    I don't think visibility is a cure-all but it's definitely something that helps. More than "loud pipes" anyway. :csm
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  12. DavidR8

    DavidR8 Wanna-be ADV rider

    Jun 14, 2013
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I’m a believer in hi-viz. I wear a yellow hi-viz vest and I know that people see me more than when I don’t wear it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  13. brgsprint

    brgsprint Been here awhile

    Apr 26, 2012
    Endicott, NY
    For me, hi-viz is part of ATGATT.

    My HV yellow vest goes over everything from my mesh to my winter jacket to my raingear.

    As far as having too much confidence because the gear has you covered, it's like counting on amplified flatulence keeping you safe. You might end up having to lay 'er down.
  14. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Nov 6, 2005
    Westside WA
    anything you do to make yourself more noticeable can't hurt just don't lull yourself into thinking just cause you look like an escaped circus act that they really do see you.
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  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Aug 10, 2010
    Western Montana
    My take: It might make some marginal difference in specific situations - stopping on the shoulder, or at night if you have reflectorized stripes.

    My previous armored riding jacket was hi-viz; I bought it because it was marked down and it fit.

    My present one is not. I have lights and reflectors and reflective stripes on the back of my Silver Wing; and while I could do with a reflective band on my back, for any time I have to be off on the shoulder...I feel okay with what I have.

    If it makes you feel safer, get it. But don't count on it, as someone said.
  16. Tenacious B

    Tenacious B Been here awhile

    Dec 16, 2006
    In my experience riding bicycles, wearing hi-viz made a noticeable difference in how much space drivers gave me on the road.

    For motorcycles, I happened across an Australian study that concluded that a hi-viz helmet increased visibility by about 2/3s, a jacket by about 1/3, and pants and bike color were not particularly influential [numbers are approx. from memory]. I wear a hi-viz helmet, and usually suit, but sometimes the suit is light silver. I've also been working on adding a bunch of lights to the bike for seeing and being seen.
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  17. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

    Feb 24, 2010
    The only thing that keeps me alive is my actions. If you think hi viz helps just remember cop cars still get hit even with the blue lights flashing.
  18. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

    Mar 7, 2014
    NW Illinois, Driftless Zone
    I think Hi-Viz clothing is fine, as are a good set of normal lights.


    1.) Don't ever let safety gear lull you into a false sense of security.

    2.) Nothing makes you a better rider other than practice and experience. Clothes, gear and gadgets NEVER do.

    3.) Flashing lights, overly bright lights and so on stand a very good chance of annoying another road user, inciting road rage, or otherwise angering other road users. Better to spend the same amount of time and energy ( and $$$) on a safe riding course.
  19. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

    Jul 19, 2007
  20. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

    Sep 5, 2008
    As stated and not often enough in Robbinsville, NC
    So you are saying that HiVis can't help, as shown by a police car being hit by a car ?

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