High-visibility motorcycle safety gear makes riders more conspicuous on the road. Motorcyclists who wear high-visibility clothing and personal protective equipment are approximately 37% less likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash.
High-Visibility Motorcycle Safety Gear
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all motorcycle riders wear high-visibility safety gear to increase their visibility on the road. However, many riders choose not to comply with these safety recommendations. In recent studies, motorcycle riders of different ages and genders expressed objections about wearing high-visibility apparel because of its unappealing appearance and lack of culture suitability. Study participants expressed a need for improved comfort and style in motorcycle high-visibility safety gear. Many riders expressed beliefs that high-visibility safety gear has no impact on rider safety.
NHTSA describes motorcycle safety gear as any personal protective equipment (PPE) including helmets, goggles, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots. High-visibility safety gear has properties that increase the visibility of riders and distinguish riders from traffic and other surroundings. High-visibility is usually distinguished by the use of the following:
- Reflective materials
- Reflective accents on clothing and helmets
- Fluorescent materials
- Fluorescent accents on clothing and helmets
- Bright and/or fluorescent colors
- Neon colors
High-visibility fluorescent colors include fluorescent white, fluorescent red, fluorescent orange-red, and fluorescent yellow-green. High-visibility neon colors include yellow, blue, bright pink, and purple.
According to NHTSA studies, motorcycle riders want less high-visibility color in their protective clothing and more reflective design elements in brand logos. Many riders suggest moving high-visibility colors to higher locations on jackets and the outer sides of arms and legs. Many female riders say it’s difficult to find comfortable high-visibility clothing and gear that fits properly. Many riders want more consideration given to differences in riding posture for different motorcycles to ensure that high-visibility design elements can be easily seen by drivers.
Recommended Safety Gear for Motorcyclists
To prevent serious or fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, NHTSA, the National Safety Council, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommend specific safety gear for all motorcycle riders. Gear designed specifically for motorcycle riding provides the best protection because of durable high-visibility materials and tighter wind seals at the neck, wrists, and ankles. Recommended safety gear includes regulated helmets, eye protection, jackets, pants, gloves, boots, and rain gear.
According to the NHTSA, motorcycle riders who wear helmets have a 37% better chance of surviving a crash than riders who don’t wear helmets. When choosing a helmet, riders should only purchase a helmet that is DOT approved. A DOT seal or sticker on the helmet indicates that the helmet has been tested by the federal government and meets minimum safety requirements. The helmet should fit properly and snugly without moving around on the head. The helmet should have high-visibility features and good ventilation.
Riders who wear open face helmets or skull caps need goggles for eye protection. Goggles are not needed for full-face helmets. Proper goggles should be made from a shatter-resistant material and provide proper UV protection against sun and glare. Proper eye protection protects a rider’s vision and keeps wind, dirt, and road debris out of the eyes.
Riding jackets protect riders from bruises, cuts, abrasions, and broken arms often seen by accident lawyers in a motorcycle accident. Thick leather and kevlar materials are sturdier than other types of materials, while smooth materials aid in sliding which can prevent serious injuries on rough pavement. When choosing jackets, riders should consider weather conditions, high-visibility materials, ventilation, comfort, and proper fit with tight closures at the neck and wrists.
Leather, kevlar and other synthetic materials used in pants designed specifically for motorcycle riding offer the best injury protection in an accident. Some pants come with hard plastic armor at the knees and hips to prevent serious injuries in a fall. For added safety, riders should choose pants with reflective strips along the legs.
Protective boots should have low heels and non-skid soles that grip footpegs and pavement. Boots should be high enough to cover the ankles but can be higher for added protection. Thick leather or synthetic materials that protect the feet and legs from flying debris and pipe burns are recommended.
Winter and summer gloves are recommended for riders in areas with climate changes. Winter gloves should be thicker with insulation that protects hands from the cold. Thick leather gloves are recommended for the best protection from flying road debris, insects, and injuries to hands and wrists commonly seen by motorcycle accident lawyers.
Rain gear designed for motorcycle riders is made to fit over protective clothing and safety gear. It should have tight closures at the neck, wrists, and ankles. Bright colors are recommended to ensure maximum visibility in low-visibility conditions. Riders should keep the rain gear handy in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.