Richard says he has studied many scientific studies about hi-vis clothing and says there is no conclusive evidence it is safer for riders.
However, there are several international studies with varied findings suggesting:
Dark clothing is more visible in certain lighting situations;
Hi-vis rider gear may be less visible in certain conditions; and
Hi-vis clothing could create a “target fixation” for motorists, causing them to steer toward the wearer.
Richard also says he regularly wears a hi-visibility jacket when riding, but has still been hit by a car.
“The driver claimed they didn’t see me, from a distance of less than 2m, as they changed lanes on top of me,” he says.
The Victorian Motorcycle Council also says hi-vis is a safety myth, claiming:
Wearing hi-vis clothing may impart a false sense of security for novice riders;
Modern research shows that people don’t recognise or react to motorcycles, rather than not seeing them at all;
Drivers are more likely to see a bike but make an error in timing; and
All bikes have hard-wired headlights yet no research has been done on how this affects hi-visibility.
Some say group rides with lead and tail-end riders in hi-vis vests destroys our argument.
However hi-vis vests on group rides are not worn for safety reasons. They are there to help distinguish those riders from the others so that riders don’t accidentally pass the lead rider or fall behind the sweep.