Friday, October 24, 2008

Rider Visibility

Last week, while on the road trip, I noticed something while following motorcycles on the highway. In Oregon and northern California where there was a fair amount of dark green vegetation along the highways, I occasionally caught up with and followed a motorcycle whose rider was wearing black. I.e. black helmet & black leathers and occasionally riding on a mostly black bike. With the overcast skies, the chrome wasn't reflecting the sun very well and the itty bitty lights many bikes now have facing the rear were difficult to see in the flat light. There were many times that they pretty much vanished from sight due to the dark background. Obviously, this wasn't the case while crossing the desert, but even then, they tended to vanish from behind when they were following a darker, large vehicle. On the other hand, those wearing white helmets and especially those with high-viz clothing were very visible even with the flat light from overcast skies. When the sun was out, all of the specular reflections from the chrome that many cruisers have is pretty visible but then again, a lot of it isn't visible to the rear. Loud pipes don't help much until you are right on top of them and you usually see them by then anyway. Just an observation...

1 comment:

  1. White cars are also more visible - even in snow. Black/dark cars are a lot less visible. From my insurance company's newsletter. A good reason to have a light colored car/motorcycle.