An important phrase you will often hear from expert riders regarding safety is, “See and be seen.” The “see” part of this phrase is referring to your ability to see clearly what is going on all around you. The “be seen” part is in reference to other driver’s ability to see you. There are a couple things you can do to increase others ability to see you. First, you should always ride in spots where the traffic around you can see you either in front of them, next to them, or behind them. This means not riding in people’s blind spots. In addition, it means doing what is other drivers expect you to do. For example, if you are flying down the highway at one hundred miles per hour, the cars you are passing are likely not going to see you coming. They could end up moving out in front of you at the last second resulting in an accident.
Something you can do to increase your visibility before you ever even climb onto your bike is to wear brightly colored gear. It is the same concept as construction workers wearing bright orange vests. The idea is to draw the attention of traffic so they can see you from a long way off. You can find brightly colored equipment of all kinds. From the helmet all the way down to the boots, many manufacturers make high visibility motorcycle clothing.
In addition to bright colors, another important factor of high visibility clothing is reflective gear. This is especially important at night, and during a storm. Here are a few choices for highly visible motorcycle clothing:
Typically sport bike jackets come in a variety of bright colors. Most of these types of jackets are equipped with reflective seems that are easily seen at night. Basic leather jackets that are quite common for cruiser riders are mostly black, and occasionally brown. If you are wearing a plain jacket you should consider purchasing some kind of colored vest or overcoat to wear during low visibility situations. The vest you decide on should ideally have some waterproof and reflective qualities to it.
Since your torso is what most people are going to be able to see rather than your legs, highly visible pants are not as pertinent as a jacket. However, there are many different kinds of sport riding pants and nylon pants that come in loud colors. The nylon pants are valuable for not only making you easier to see, but also keeping you dry in the rain.
Gloves, Boots and Helmets
You won’t find many riders who spend the extra money on reflective gloves, boot and helmets. Most motorcyclists are content to wear their normal equipment when it comes to these kinds of gear. There are some choices for more visibility in these areas. Finding them could prove to be a bit trickier than finding high visibility jackets and pants.
High-Visibility Motorcycle Accessories
Other than what you wear on your body, there are some other things you can mount directly to your bike that will make you easier to see. Various reflective decals can be purchased very inexpensively. For a bit more money you could purchase something like a reflective license plate holder, or LED brake lights and turn signals.
Many riders’ biggest concern is that you can control how you ride, but you can’t control how other people drive. That is why every motorcyclist should do whatever it takes to “see and be seen,” at all times, and that is why you should consider high visibility motorcycle clothing.