Motorcyclists Reluctant to Wear High-Visibility Gear

Resource Type

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2019

CONTACT: Kara Macek, 202-789-0944

New Findings Suggest How to Increase Acceptance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report examining why motorcycle riders choose to wear – or not wear – high-visibility gear and what can be done to encourage greater use rates.

Motorcyclists are far overrepresented in traffic fatalities, with more than 5,000 riders dying in crashes each year. Many of these tragedies are attributed to a motor vehicle driver not seeing the motorcyclists, making rider visibility paramount to safety.

Motorcyclists’ Attitudes on Using High-Visibility Gear to Improve Conspicuity: Findings From a Focus Group Study reports most participants did not regularly wear such gear. Those who did wear the ideal safety gear explained their decision was based on having been in a crash with a motor vehicle or personally knowing another rider who had been affected.

Participants recommended increasing the acceptance of high-visibility gear among motorcyclists through: more attractive and appealing clothing (with preference for retroreflective gear over bright colors); high-visibility elements being universally incorporated across all branded motorcycle gear; clear educational messaging backed by statistics; financial incentives such as insurance discounts; and gradual social norming, such as encouraging use during low-light conditions.

GHSA member State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) are concerned about motorcyclist safety and working hard to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving them. Understanding why riders do or don’t wear high-visibility gear will assist SHSOs in their messaging and outreach to the motorcyclist community.

NCREP is a portfolio of research projects jointly managed by NHTSA and GHSA. The research topics are selected by SHSOs to help inform state policy, planning and programs on top traffic safety issues. Learn more about GHSA research priorities here.

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.