Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16215
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mjr » 27 Apr 2019, 10:48pm

slowster wrote:mjr, do you drive?

Yes, and guess what colour car I drive most and the colours of cars I've driven most... and for a bonus, the colour car I avoided becoming the keeper of!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

irc
Posts: 4796
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby irc » 27 Apr 2019, 11:09pm

freiston wrote:Has anyone here hit a car (or knows someone who did) because it was a dark colour and not bright hi-viz yellow (whether they be cycling, walking or driving)?


There is studies showing white cars are around 10% less likely to be in crashes than black cars.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3510001220

slowster
Posts: 1683
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby slowster » 27 Apr 2019, 11:27pm

mjr wrote:Yes, and guess what colour car I drive most and the colours of cars I've driven most... and for a bonus, the colour car I avoided becoming the keeper of!

I am a little surprised at that, because your posts don't seem to contain much perspective of what it's like for a driver.

As for car colour, I think that's a red herring in the context of car/bike interactions, especially close passes. It's the car that is travelling at much higher speed, has higher momentum, and must reduce speed when encountering a cyclist (the cyclist cannot increase speed to match the car like a motorbike).

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 14105
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby gaz » 27 Apr 2019, 11:38pm

slowster wrote:I am a little surprised at that, because your posts don't seem to contain much perspective of what it's like for a driver.

It's my responsibility to exercise the degree of care proportional to the danger I bring to the road. As a driver I am in charge of approx 1.5T of metal that can very easily cause serious injury and death to vulnerable road users. As a cyclist I am not.

I wish more drivers shared my sense of perspective on this matter.
Missing, presumed fed.

User avatar
The utility cyclist
Posts: 3475
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby The utility cyclist » 28 Apr 2019, 1:15am

irc wrote:
freiston wrote:Has anyone here hit a car (or knows someone who did) because it was a dark colour and not bright hi-viz yellow (whether they be cycling, walking or driving)?


There is studies showing white cars are around 10% less likely to be in crashes than black cars.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3510001220


oooo, 10%, that has me totally convinced :roll: that is a meta analysis study right?
The Korean study in 2013 found that white was almost 10% worse than black, the NZ (Auckland) study found a different result.
Image Attachments
car colour crashes.JPG
car crash colour Korea.JPG

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16215
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mjr » 28 Apr 2019, 9:21am

slowster wrote:
mjr wrote:Yes, and guess what colour car I drive most and the colours of cars I've driven most... and for a bonus, the colour car I avoided becoming the keeper of!

I am a little surprised at that, because your posts don't seem to contain much perspective of what it's like for a driver.

To the contrary: they contain the perspective of a driver who knows that it's quite simple to do like the highway code says and treat cyclists like a small car and all the victim-blaming and self-loathing telling people to wear special clothes is enabling and prolonging our current might-makes-right broken British road environment.

As for car colour, I think that's a red herring in the context of car/bike interactions, especially close passes. It's the car that is travelling at much higher speed, has higher momentum, and must reduce speed when encountering a cyclist (the cyclist cannot increase speed to match the car like a motorbike).

Maybe, but is it a red herring in car/car interactions? Because I stay under speed limits (which seems to put me in a minority on here!), I spend most of every journey being overtaken repeatedly, probably sometimes by vehicles doing twice my speed (such as in 50mph motorway works limits and a huge SUV blats past fast enough to rock my car). I don't routinely use lights in daytime. Other road users don't seem to have problems seeing me and I've yet to be run into. Why is black OK for cars but bad for bikes? The difference between 1.2m wide and 2.2m wide doesn't seem sufficient to explain such a difference at all distances and speeds.

I really do suspect colour is a huge red herring and that the problem is really that many motorists think "cyclist = almost no need to act" for some reason. Maybe it's because colliding with one is very unlikely to hurt them either directly or by landing them with a punishment, unlike if they hit other cars (direct pain), or roadworkers and emergency services (who in Norfolk generally wear black, mustard or green not yellow or orange, similar to what Lance reports about his local police) who they'd be much more likely to be punished for hitting, possibly including media reports.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5016
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Apr 2019, 10:27am

I've come to this page rather late, but my own tuppenceworth: my own observation is that flashing lights get more attention that garishly coloured clothing.
John

JohnW
Posts: 6427
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 28 Apr 2019, 1:50pm

irc wrote:.......................
There is studies showing white cars are around 10% less likely to be in crashes than black cars.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 3510001220

I'm not surprised at that.

JohnW
Posts: 6427
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 28 Apr 2019, 1:55pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I've come to this page rather late, but my own tuppenceworth: my own observation is that flashing lights get more attention that garishly coloured clothing.

I tend to agree with that John, but the question was about black v hi-viz.

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 5187
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby RickH » 28 Apr 2019, 2:03pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I've come to this page rather late, but my own tuppenceworth: my own observation is that flashing lights get more attention that garishly coloured clothing.

I find that my observation goes along the lines of - there's a cyclist, followed by oh they've got lights on in the daytime! I've seen them before I notice they have lights on. :?

JohnW
Posts: 6427
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 28 Apr 2019, 2:33pm

Earlier in this thread I said that I'd a couple of fairly recent experiences that had validated my preference for hi-viz. One of them really highlights the problem/situation. I've posted this previously on a very similar thread, but it's relevant and I'll post it again now.

Some members from my part of the world may know the location.

Location was St.Andrews Road, in Huddersfield. It's a wide and busy road, but not horrendously so except in the bums' rush part of the day. The road is straight except for a bend at each end and maybe three-quarters of a mile long, with a couple of traffic lights and industrial/commercial entrance/exits on both sides, which keep traffic speed down. It's a popularly used road to get from Wakefield Road to Leeds Road, avoiding the town centre. I think that it's a 30 limit area and the only time I remember seeing speeding is the after tea/early evening time when scroatorists are abroad.

The time of this incident was 'T'-time, daylight but not bright sunlight. I joined St.Andrews Road at the Wakefield Road end, and was intending riding to Leeds Road. In front of me, maybe 100yards or so in front, I could see two cyclists which were possibly 20 yards apart. Both were wearing yellow hi-viz. I was riding very slightly faster than them, so slowly catching them. Traffic was overtaking me all the time, but safely and not speeding. As I caught the rear cyclist - possibly about 10 yards behind him - a car overtook me. The car wasn't speeding or being aggressive, he gave plenty of space. The car didn't attempt to cut in front of me and he overtook the cyclist in front of me giving plenty of clearance. The driver was doing the right thing all the time. As the car got in front of the cyclist in front of me, the driver slammed all on and stopped in the middle of the lane. The cyclist in front of me stopped pretty quickly and pulled into the gutter. I did the same. The car then pulled over to it's left and continued.

After we'd stopped it transpired that I was acquainted with the rider in front of me so we discussed what had happened. What I didn't know, and what the car driver obviously didn't know, was that there were actually three riders in front of me - two wearing hi-viz and another between them in black (or possibly very dark blue). The driver of the car must have seen the darkly clad cyclist at the last moment; he couldn't pull in because of the cyclist immediately in front of me (many, many motorists would have done :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: !) Now I'm a cyclist, always on the look-out for my own kind - but I'd no idea that the darkly clad cyclist was there. The cyclist in front of me hadn't seen the darker clad guy for quite a long time either - shortly before the incident in fact. The darkly clad cyclist was spared only because the motorist was doing everything right :D :D :D , and being very considerate :D :D :D - the darkly clad cyclist possibly owed his life to the good guy (or lady). How many times do we see motorists doing everything right and being considerate to that extent?

Make what you want of that situation, but if you'd been there you may have formed a positive view about hi-viz.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5016
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Apr 2019, 2:37pm

JohnW wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:I've come to this page rather late, but my own tuppenceworth: my own observation is that flashing lights get more attention that garishly coloured clothing.

I tend to agree with that John, but the question was about black v hi-viz.



True, and I meant: I'm not sure whether black of hi-viz us what matters. I am more likely to notice lights. I speak only of my own experience as a driver. I do think that a black jacket at dusk, epecially when no lights, can be almost invisible. I personally wear hi-viz and have flashing lights. I shouldn't have to but I live in the real world. I need a jacket so it might as well be highly visible.
John

Vitara
Posts: 223
Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18pm

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Vitara » 28 Apr 2019, 2:43pm

Over 50 posts & all very interesting, except all but one miss the point completely by focusing on the risk of cyclists not being seen by drivers & whether brighter coloured jackets help in this respect.

The Primary purpose of a rain jacket must surely be to protect the wearer from the elements and keep them dry while riding. My experience is that regular rain jackets will do this for at most 2hrs, after which water comes through, fine if you only need protection for a short time to get you home, but pretty much useless if you are doing long rides in inclement condition and in colder months. At this point the potential risk of not being see by a driver pales can pale into insignificance against the real risk of hypothermia.

The Gore One Jacket is a highly technical garment. It is expensive and fragile (as TC comments), and as I understand it can currently only be manufactured in black. But, and I think this is the key point here, it will keep you dry and remain breathable for as long as you are riding.

You can wear it for 8 hours riding in heavy persistent rain and it will still keep you dry. I don't know of any other jacket that will do that. We started out with one of our Audax Club members paying a lot of money for one in 2016, & gradually have been won other so that nearly every club member now has one & we wouldn't be without them.

TC questions whether the jackets live up to the reviews? I can tell you from experience that they do, and the one purchased in 2016 is still working as it should and has proved it's worth on many cold & wet rides.

In the wrong conditions the effect of being cold, wet and getting hypothermia can be a very real risk, and needs just as much consideration as the risk of not being seen by drivers. So for staying dry and warm the Black Gore One jacket is the only way to go. The colour is not an issue as there are plenty of other things I can do to increase my visibility, but staying warm and dry is important to me & the jacket might be expensive, but it does achieve that & in my opinion that makes it worth the price tag.

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 5187
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby RickH » 28 Apr 2019, 2:46pm

JohnW wrote:Make what you want of that situation, but if you'd been there you may have formed a positive view about hi-viz.

Alternatively, the unnecessary use of hi-viz puts those who don't wear it in increased danger! The hi-viz potentially caused a distraction.

I was driving down a poorly lit local road with no pavement in the dark a while back. Ahead I could see a dog walker wearing reflectives, carrying a torch & the dog had flashing lights on its collar. I could see them clearly & was attentive to their presence. I suddenly became aware of another dog walker much closer to me with no such "safety" features. They were never in any danger from me in this instance but I think I would have noticed them sooner if my attention hadn't been drawn to the more distant person & dog with their lights & reflectives.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50030
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Mick F » 28 Apr 2019, 2:47pm

Late to the party.

Some yonks ago, we had a Peugeot 205 in dark green. Excellent car and we had him for ten years or more.
Trouble was, it was evident right from the start, that it was "invisible" on the lanes. It blended in with the hedges and banks, plus under trees it was indistinct. We could tell the difference in the way other drivers drove. Last car we had was bright red. The difference was amazing.

Huge difference in the way we were treated and noticed. For a while, we had the headlights on permanently until we got used to it and drove very defensively and very cautiously.

Big difference between bright red and dark green.
Mick F. Cornwall