The authors of a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on July 16 sought to better understand how likely motorcyclists are to wear safety gear when operating their bikes. They initiated this study after determining that that high-visibility clothing makes it more likely that motorists will see them and thus less likely that they'll die in a crash.
When they delved into the topic of high-visibility gear, such as boots, jackets, boots, pants, helmets and gloves, the researchers found that motorcyclists, in general, have some type of aversion to wearing it. Most don't like how the pieces available on the market look.
If these motorcyclists were to wear their high-profile gear though, it could save so many lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aPPs many as 5,000 motorcyclists who are killed each year die because a driver didn't see them. The researchers discovered that most of the motorbike riders who do wear high-visibility gear do so because they've almost been in accidents themselves or they've known someone who has.
Motorcyclists across 18 different cities including some here in Texas provided feedback to researchers about what would motivate them to wear high-visibility clothing. In addition to making it more stylish, motorcyclists also mentioned that they want to see these features incorporated into all branded gear.
They also noted that they'd want to be educated as to what the benefits of wearing high-visibility gear are, especially in low-light conditions. The researchers found that they'd want to see data showing how wearing this type of clothing can significantly curb their risk of dying in a crash. Motorcyclists would expect to receive discounts on their insurance and other financial benefits for wearing this gear as well.
A representative with GHSA notes that they owe it to motorcyclists to try and get to the bottom of why bikers elect to wear this gear, especially since it has the potential of greatly reducing motorcycle fatality rates.
While improvements that make motorcyclists more visible to motorists can have a significant impact in curbing fatal crash rates, it's unlikely that this will completely eliminate them. Drivers can still stand to learn better ways to share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, other cars and pedestrians. Motorcyclists who have been seriously injured here in Waco should reach out to an attorney to protect their rights following a crash.