If you ask anyone what color motorcycle riders tend to wear most often, they’re going to say that it is black. It may be a cliche, but many riders do wear black leather jackets and dark helmets.
It’s not just a fashion statement. Leather can actually help riders avoid injuries in an accident because it is tough and it slides well on the pavement. Black jackets have really caught on over the years, though, and fashion and image are part of it.
However, scientific studies have shown that it may be a good idea for riders to abandon this image and choose clothing made with bright colors and/or reflective fabric. This does not necessarily mean abandoning the safety of a leather jacket. Riders could simply wear a high-visibility vest over the top of the jacket.
The reason for this change is that black makes it harder for other drivers to see motorcycles, and it can lead to car accidents. In one study, researchers determined that bikers who have fluorescent or high-visibility clothing on when riding are a full 37 percent less likely to get in a wreck.
Remember, all it takes is one small mistake by a driver to put a motorcyclist in harm’s way. If a driver doesn’t see a bike and turns left in front of it, for instance, the resulting impact can lead to life-changing and even fatal injuries. When a high-visibility vest can reduce the odds of that outcome, is it worth it to abandon the trend of just wearing black?
If you do get in an accident caused by someone else, make sure you know if you have a right to seek financial compensation.