Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

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toomsie
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby toomsie » 31 Oct 2014, 1:26pm

I am suprised how many trainee ninja cyclists I spot

Ayesha
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Ayesha » 31 Oct 2014, 10:00pm

I see a few trainee snowmen on bikes.

Bogalvator
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Bogalvator » 1 Nov 2014, 12:15am

Fascinating to see how emotive this subject is.

2 years ago I wore a helmet almost all the time, a high vis vest / coat virtually every ride, and didn't consider wearing headphones. Now I rarely bother with the helmet, the vest only for the reflectives and listen to music on most commutes. These changes were based on practical experience and opinions / research read on this forum, which suggest these have little effect on safety.

"Anecdata" alert: ironically in my opinion it's the wearing of dark clothing at night that it is where it makes the least difference. More important is lighting and reflectives - the other night I was in my car on an unlit country road approaching a cyclist that I noticed easily further ahead because of the his lights and reflectives showing in my headlights. It wasn't until I was going past and alongside him that I noticed his top was day-glo yellow - it may just of well have been jet black.

drossall
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby drossall » 1 Nov 2014, 12:27am

It's an important, but not always understood, point that "hi-vis" clothing varies between night and day. There's not much point in reflectives in the day (they don't stand out) and not that much point in fluorescent-type clothing at night (don't think it's intended for the fairly directional beam of a headlight).

This may not be an argument against light clothing in general.

I've just noticed some of the background material in Wikipedia, which contributors to this discussion may find interesting, as it is generally supportive of the value of hi-vis, contrary to some reports up-thread.

TonyR
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby TonyR » 1 Nov 2014, 8:31am

drossall wrote:I've just noticed some of the background material in Wikipedia, which contributors to this discussion may find interesting, as it is generally supportive of the value of hi-vis, contrary to some reports up-thread.


Seems entirely consistent with what's up-thread to me. Lots of studies showing you can be seen more easily in hi-viz and the few studies there are showing no resultant safety benefit and the possibility of an increased risk to wearers

kwackers
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby kwackers » 1 Nov 2014, 2:03pm

TonyR wrote:
drossall wrote:I've just noticed some of the background material in Wikipedia, which contributors to this discussion may find interesting, as it is generally supportive of the value of hi-vis, contrary to some reports up-thread.


Seems entirely consistent with what's up-thread to me. Lots of studies showing you can be seen more easily in hi-viz and the few studies there are showing no resultant safety benefit and the possibility of an increased risk to wearers

Indeed.

The main things I think that people fail to see is that being visible and being seen are two different things.
It's much better to be seen late than early. The basis for this is that spotted early and identified as a responsible cyclist means the autonomous part of the brain can safely shift you back out without bothering to alert one's consciousness.
Spotted late and identified as a maverick ninja and thus unpredictable means one's conciousness is alerted, it curses at the 'idiot cyclist' but it takes avoiding action since ninja's are notoriously random.

There's simply no benefit to being seen 200 meters up the road as compared to being seen 50 meters away and the evidence seems to support the idea that there's actually a disadvantage as pointed out above.
Finally, those of us who do wear all the gear and expensive lights ride along under the misapprehension that we're visible. Ninja's on the other hand probably presume they're not...

(Based on urban, street lit environments where a cyclist is fairly easy to spot regardless of what they're wearing - if you're looking).

drossall
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby drossall » 1 Nov 2014, 10:14pm

Thanks both, I've taken more time to read the Wikipedia entry now, and I see what you mean...

Ann Kennedy
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Ann Kennedy » 4 Nov 2014, 6:54pm

Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...

I am also a horse rider and always wear hi viz and a helmet when on horseback or on bike ... research shows that cars see horseriders with hi-viz 3 seconds earlier than those without ... not much but it's quite a bit of braking distance.

And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!

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mjr
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby mjr » 4 Nov 2014, 7:12pm

Ann Kennedy wrote:Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...

It's an issue of self-preservation to me, but there's little evidence that hi-vis will preserve anyone. If you read the earlier messages above and on earlier pages, some people hypothesise how being seen a bit earlier might hurt as much as it helps.
And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!

Why were you trying to see him with no lights? Turn them on! ;-)

More seriously: no-one is arguing that riding an unlit bike at night is a good idea, but it's still only a factor in 2% of collisions. Focus on the bigger source of dangers: bad drivers.
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Bicycler
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Bicycler » 4 Nov 2014, 7:29pm

It's that subtle difference between "I choose to do this" and "other people should do this". The latter obliges us non-believers to argue our case. If people stopped trying to insist that others wear the stuff then we could all go about our own business perfectly happily. Rest assured that we do not wish to take away your right to have hi-vis
Last edited by Bicycler on 4 Nov 2014, 8:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

kwackers
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby kwackers » 4 Nov 2014, 8:23pm

I wear hi-vis. Do I think it makes a difference? Not at all.
Apart from the obvious 'fact' that in most scenarios a driver *should* be able to see a rider without hi-vis consider this:-

Imagine yourself riding along in the dark without hi-vis, how would you ride?
Now imagine yourself riding with hi-vis, how would you ride now?

I suspect most folk will respond very differently to those two scenarios.
So now consider the fact that your average driver often has trouble seeing a cyclist in broad daylight!

So if you think you'd ride more carefully, change your route or do anything differently in the two scenarios then it should be obvious why not wearing hi-vis isn't quite as stupid as first appears. People not wearing hi-vis *think* they can't be seen. Those wearing it *assume* they can.

Postboxer
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Postboxer » 4 Nov 2014, 9:40pm

Does the horse wear hi-vis and a helmet?

Flinders
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Flinders » 4 Nov 2014, 10:30pm

People riding horses (even in full daylight) sometimes wear high-viz tabards these days, and horses often have high-viz 'quarter-sheets' (blankets over the back behind the saddle and over the bum) and/or high-viz boots (strips round the lower part of the leg) that are reflective and/or high-viz.

In daylight you'd think it was difficult not to see a horse whatever it or its rider was wearing, but drivers still drive into them. :(

(this is not an argument for cyclists to wear high-viz, BTW, just an observation in reply to a query in a post above. And re helmets, children riding horses on roads are legally obliged to wear one. Adults aren't, at least when I last looked. But given the height of a horse and the fact that it has a mind of its own, you have to be pretty stupid not to wear a helmet when riding one- almost no riders ride without in the UK.)

Tonyf33
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Tonyf33 » 5 Nov 2014, 1:50am

Ann Kennedy wrote:Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...

I am also a horse rider and always wear hi viz and a helmet when on horseback or on bike ... research shows that cars see horseriders with hi-viz 3 seconds earlier than those without ... not much but it's quite a bit of braking distance.

And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!

Do you have a link for this 'research'?
As my ex is a horse rider of many years I had a discussion with her about it and I searched for this 'data'. 99.9% of the horse forums mention this ' 3 extra seconds' that hi vis 'can' give you, yet can't produce any evidence to support it?
There is an oft made statement that a helicopter could see horse riders with hi-vis from an extra 1/2 mile away, unfortunately for both horse riders and cyclists we don't get struck/killed/maimed by helicopters hovvering above the ground.
Hi vis is unproven at all levels of road use and it's a dangerous fallacy to fall into thinking it will help...it doesn't.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Nov 2014, 6:00am

Animals are an interesting one....

On the Gower Peninsula in Wales there were cattle and sheep in HiViz, and in teh NEw Forest there are continual campaigns for the ponies to have HiViz