Motorcyclist Visibility And The Use Of High-Visibility Motorcycle Gear

Motorcyclist visibility remains a key traffic safety factor. The subject is discussed on the “Ways To Avoid Motorcycle Accidents And Injuries” page. An excerpt:

Many motorcycle accidents occur because motorists do not “see” motorcycles.  This condition can lead to a collision between the vehicle and the motorcycle.  As seen in many Illinois motorcycle accidents summarized on this site, one of the most frequent types of motorcycle crashes continues to be when a vehicle makes a left-hand turn immediately in front of a motorcycle, causing a collision to occur between the vehicle and motorcycle.  In such instances the motorists often claim that they failed to see the oncoming motorcycle.  The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has conducted the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign to highlight the motorcycle visibility issue.

While there are various ways to increase motorcyclist visibility and/or motorist awareness of motorcycles, one way is for motorcycle riders to wear high-visibility clothing.

Recently, the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) published a report on the subject of high-visibility clothing and other motorcycle gear. The report is titled “Motorcyclists’ attitudes on using high-visibility gear to improve conspicuity.” (pdf) The report discusses the attitudes of various motorcyclists on why they choose – or not choose – to wear high-visibility motorcycle gear.

Of note, most motorcyclists do not wear high-visibility gear. The reasons for this are also discussed in the report.

An excerpt from the report’s Executive Summary:

Most riders indicated that they do not wear high-visibility gear. Several reasons were mentioned, with the most important reason being that they do not like the way it looks. Many participants said they do not like the yellow color of high-visibility gear, and a few said that other highvisibility colors such as orange, bright blue, purple, or pink would be more acceptable. Participants said that the appearance of high-visibility gear is a problem because it does not fit in with the look of motorcyclists who ride their type of motorcycle. Some riders said they do not wear high-visibility gear because of the belief that it will not make any difference for their personal safety. Furthermore, they indicated that their skill as riders precludes the need to wear high-visibility gear. Other riders noted that they use lighting enhancements on their motorcycles already, and that high-visibility apparel would not increase their conspicuity. This belief was expressed particularly by owners of large touring motorcycles, who said the windscreen and other parts of the bike would substantially block the view of the rider (and presumably any effect of high-visibility gear worn).

Additional details and statistics concerning this motorcyclist visibility issue can be found in the report.


Should you or someone you care for experience a motorcycle accident injury or fatality in Illinois, please contact the Elman Joseph Law Group for a free consultation to discuss the legal situation and to determine whether a personal injury lawsuit should be filed.  Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC ( is an Illinois personal injury law firm that concentrates in Illinois personal injury and wrongful death cases involving vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, bike, bus, pedestrian, truck, etc.)

Elman Joseph Law Group’s Lead Attorney, Tony Elman, is a personal injury trial lawyer.  Over the last 25+ years Elman Joseph Law Group has handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits.

During this 25+ year period, Elman Joseph Law Group has built a reputation for its courtroom trial performance, including getting large verdicts for smaller cases.  In fact, because of these court trial accomplishments, many well-known law firms choose to have Elman Joseph Law Group take cases to court.

To speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  This legal consultation is free.

Elman Joseph Law Group works on a “contingency” basis…Elman Joseph Law Group’s clients never pay a fee unless and until they receive monetary compensation.