Even though people in vehicles are often to blame for motorcycle crashes, everyone puts the responsibility for preventing such wrecks on motorcycle riders. Many people will offer unsolicited safety advice when they find out that you own a motorcycle.
One of the most common suggestions people make is to buy visibility gear. Imposing an obligation on motorcyclists to wear brightly colored, attention-grabbing visibility gear may seem unfair. There are jackets, helmets and even boots made in brilliant colors and boasting reflective sections, and they are quite expensive.
Such brightly-colored and flashy gear is completely the opposite of the aesthetic many motorcycle enthusiasts embrace. However, people continue to tout visibility gear as a simple way to reduce your risk on your next ride. Does wearing a neon or reflective jacket really improve your safety?
Research shows that visibility gear has a positive impact
It can be hard to objectively study the practical consequences of specific driver choices, like an investment in visibility gear. For example, there is the reasonable assumption that those buying visibility gear are probably more cautious and defensive drivers to begin with if they make safety that much of a focus. There are also age and socioeconomic factors that research into safety gear cannot exclude as confounding factors.
Still, the research that does exist indicates that visibility gear may reduce someone’s crash risk by as much as 37%. If you draw the eye of other people in traffic to your bright colors or sparkling, reflective strips, they will be consciously aware of your presence and less likely to merge or turn in front of you, causing a crash.
You cannot eliminate risk
No matter how safety conscious you are, a lot of your personal risk on your motorcycle comes not from your behavior but the actions of others on the road. You can take steps, like investing in visibility gear, to reduce your personal safety concerns. You can also look into your insurance coverage and increase it for better protection in case a driver who hurts you doesn’t have good coverage.
Being proactive can help you reduce your chances of a motorcycle crash and prevent you from being liable for any crash that does occur.