Let’s cut straight to the point:
It’s a fact, wearing hi viz clothing, adding lights to your bike, and complementing your garments with reflective elements can save your life. Not one or the other, but all three together.
Research from Clemson University in South Carolina has proven these three key elements give drivers 3X more reaction time to see you, slow down, and pass safely and courteously. It was such a good study, that the Wall Street Journal even did a story and a video on Clemson’s findings.
1. Wear florescent colors on moving parts of the body.
As Dr. Tyrrell mentions from the study, “Humans are really good at recognizing other humans.” Adding bright colors to moving parts of your body lets drivers recognize the body’s motions and enables drivers to identify there is indeed a human being pedaling on the road. As for the high vis cycling jersey or jacket, it adds to the overall “visibility package” that enables you to be seen from farther away.
2. Add lights to the front and rear of your bike.
Not all lights are created equal, so be sure to add bright lights that can been seen from far away. One on the seatpost and one on the handlebars is a great start but add more if you can. For extra visibility add lights to your ankles, creating light that moves up and down, thus reinforcing to the driver there is a cyclist on the road. A word to the wise though: When running extremely bright headlights in the front, be sure to point them downward as not to blind oncoming drivers.
They only work when light hits them, but they are extremely effective. Especially when paired with lights, and hi viz clothing on moving parts of the body. There are also reflective accessories you can find that strap to your ankles, and even reflective stickers you can add to your bike.
Make sure you are visible
With these three strategies in place, riding becomes much more safe and you can have a better piece of mind when heading out for your rides. While these are great fall and winter tips, we would also encourage you to follow this advice no matter the time of year. It always helps to be seen, even on the warmest and brightest of days.
Garneau provides gear for every type of riding and we have developed specific technologies for high visibility cycling apparel, reflective treatments, and also offer our own range of cycling lights.
Click through to shop our reflective and high visibility assortment of jackets, jerseys, shoes, helmets, socks, and other accessories.