Motorcyclists are reluctant to wear high-visibility gear which could make them safer on the road, according to a new report.

Every year more than 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in crashes on US roads with many of the tragedies attributed to a motor vehicle driver not seeing the motorcyclists.

As part of the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the report examining why motorcycle riders choose to wear – or not wear – high-visibility gear and what can be done to encourage greater use rates.

Motorcyclists’ Attitudes on Using High-Visibility Gear To Improve Conspicuity found most participants did not regularly wear such gear. Those who chose to wear the ideal safety gear said their decision was based on having been in a crash with a motor vehicle or personally knowing another rider who had been affected.

Participants recommended increasing the acceptance of high-visibility gear among motorcyclists through:

  • More attractive and appealing clothing
  • Educational messaging backed by statistics
  • Financial incentives such as insurance discounts
  • Getting high-visibility elements universally incorporated across all branded motorcycle gear
  • Encouraging use during low-light conditions