#TeachingTuesday - Be seen!
Updated: Feb 7, 2020
So today let's talk about the science of being seen on the road when riding a motorcycle. A few months ago I attended Biker Down free course with the Kent Fire Service and was enlightened about visibility when riding my bike.
Please check here the list of locations and go for it as is a brilliant course
I thought I had a good idea of how to make myself more visible, wear hi-viz either on my jacket or helmet, not have all black (clothes or bike), although I do wear all black jacket and trousers! Expect no one can see me when approaching a junction, etc etc. I was quite wrong with some of it, especially hi-viz.
What I didn’t realise is that hi-viz green/yellow is used so often now with road side workers, and on vehicles, that we no longer stand out in the crowd. Also, on a sunny day, we just blend in. Ever wear camo gear on your bike? Well guess what, you blend into the landscape: CAMOUFLAGE! What I also didn’t realise is the human eye sees differently depending on levels of light as well as the reality of motion camouflage. What do I mean by this? Well, depending on the time of day, levels of light, and your surroundings, plus how our eyes “scan” there are fragments of our vision that we just cannot see. To learn more about this you really should do a Biker Down course but for now, here are my tips. What do they suggest scientifically we wear?
🏍The boys will love this one 😉 pink is actually the colour which stands out best against all backgrounds believe it or not.
Now, will I go out and buy a pink jacket or hi-viz? Probably not but I will take into account other tips they talked about.
🏍Reflective strips, either on the bike (eg box), trousers, boots, stickers. Helmet is too high for vehicle lights to reflect off so think low level, for example where the lights shine. Break up the colour of my jacket either with reflective strips or straps (maybe pink for me?).
🏍Bright colour helmet for general visibility and I will never buy a totally black bike as I know it blends in to the road …ever seen the video of the bike coming over the bridge?
🏍But most importantly, the position I ride when approaching junctions…. I never ride too close to the vehicle in front, I always think about other vehicles (as well as that one) being able to see me, so when waiting at traffic lights/junctions, did you know the safest position is up side the vehicles instead of behind where you are vulnerable to be hit? When approaching junctions, move from side to side a bit in your lane, so if you are in a blind spot or the other driver has motion camouflage, hopefully in that split second you re appear. Always think the big gap in front when filtering is about to be filled with a driver switching lanes and won’t see you.
Stay away from blind spots.
🏍And finally, always expect the unexpected and try to be ready. Hope that has been helpful, please let us know your safety tips for being seen, as there are many many more! Happy and safe riding xx,
Denise Useful links https://motoress.com/ride/motion-camouflage-riding-your-motorcycle/ https://www.kent.fire-uk.org/your-safety/road-safety/road-safety-for-bikers/ https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/choose-hi-viz-motorcycle-gear/