Motorcyclists’ Attitudes Toward Using High-Visibility Apparel to Improve Conspicuity

The conspicuity of motorcycles is frequently cited as a contributing factor in multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes, particularly at intersections. Not only can the smaller size of a motorcycle render it less visible to motorists, but drivers may not expect to see them during everyday traffic maneuvers. However, motorcyclists who are more conspicuous, for example, by wearing high-visibility gear, may have a stronger likelihood of being seen. Studies suggest that motorists were less likely to pull in front of motorcyclists wearing high-visibility apparel and at night were less likely to turn in front of riders wearing retro-reflective material. This project seeks to understand the reasons underlying motorcyclists’ choice of color and visibility characteristics of their gear through a series of focus groups. The objective is to discuss with motorcyclists the reasons why they select or reject high-visibility colors and retro-reflective materials, and to understand their perspectives on safety and conspicuity. The goal is to lay the foundation for strategies for encouraging the use of high-visibility gear and to support States in their efforts to encourage the use of high-visibility riding apparel among the riding population.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590

      Governors Highway Safety Association

      444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
      Washington, DC  United States  20001
    • Project Managers:

      Wochinger, Kathryn

    • Performing Organizations:

      Westat, Incorporated

      1650 Research Boulevard
      Rockville, MD  United States  20850
    • Start Date: 20160929
    • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Motorcycle Safety

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01639996
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2211D000222-0005
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jun 29 2017 1:41PM