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Summary of Rider Conspicuity and Injury Study

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 06:00 PM by gfloyd2002

In a 2003 study, a group of public health researchers from Auckland and Sydney Universities investigated whether the risk of motorcycle crash related injuries is associated with how conspicuous the rider's gear was. It reviewed approximately 500 riders involved in crashes, compared with a control group of about 1250. (I should check this - too lazy atm.) The study found that:

•Crash related injuries occurred mainly in urban zones with 50 km/h speed limit (66%), during the day (63%), and in fine weather (72%).
•Drivers wearing any reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk than other drivers.
•Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
•Light coloured helmet versus dark coloured helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk.
•Three quarters of motorcycle riders had their headlight turned on during the day, and this was associated with a 27% lower risk.
•No association occurred between risk and the frontal colour of drivers' clothing or motorcycle.
•If these odds ratios are unconfounded, the population attributable risks are 33% for wearing no reflective or fluorescent clothing, 18% for a non-white helmet, 11% for a dark coloured helmet, and 7% for no daytime headlight operation.

So, increasing the use of reflective or fluorescent clothing and white or light coloured helmets, and daytime headlights are simple, cheap interventions that could considerably reduce motorcycle crash related injury and death. We all have running lights already - no reason not to use bright clothing and helmets as well.
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