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Old 04-19-2003, 12:19 PM   #16
wxwax OP
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BTW, the above is why I've taken a fancy to the old Savannah jacket in orange and gray.

It has a conspicuous color, plus pattern changes on the shoulders, and lots of reflective material. I'm bummed they changed the color scheme of the Savannah - there's too much black on the new version.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:21 PM   #17
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Conclusion about passive safety

This is the first conclusion in the locomotive conspicuity study.

********************



3.8 CONCLUSIONS

* Passive alerting devices are considered to be of only limited effectiveness in enhancing locomotive conspicuity. Accordingly, locomotive passive alerting devices should be used only as a secondary technique to reduce collisions at highway-railroad grade crossings.



There's a message there for us all.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:35 PM   #18
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Re: Conclusion about passive safety

Quote:
Said wxwax:

There's a message there for us all.
Yup, I agree. While I am half-kidding about lighting yourself on fire, I do agree that some degree of conspicuity is good, but it's not a substitute for riding like you are invisible.

Not long ago, I was heading into work in the mid morning, and on a fairly busy four lane road, there was a traffic accident over to the side of the road. Upon closer inspection, a woman in a white sedan had rear-ended a city bus. A big bus with a very loud, colorful poster on the back for a local rock radio station.

Watch yer six.
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Old 04-19-2003, 04:57 PM   #19
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Thanks wxwax... excellent information you put together... I'll keep covering all the bases by wearing my HI-VIZ and riding like I am invisible.
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Said Chopperman:
Sounding like a buick and for a split second making them *look* for a buick works great.
When I was young I used to drive a TR3 to work, and I would leave for work at the same time everyday. There was this lady in this big caddy (or olds) who would always pull out in front of me from a side road - so I put some big truck horns on the TR3 and the next time we crossed paths she started to pull out and I hit the horns. She slammed on her brakes and looked for that truck she heard but didn't see, then started to pull out again so I hit the horn again and again she stopped. I would have loved to do it all over again, but by that time I was past her. She obviously saw me, but just didn't give a damn about a little sports car even though I had the right of way.

For bikes, I think looking like a cop on a bike gets people's attention and that is why headlight modulators work. Having a bright yellow jacket works too, and some Harley guys had been seen with a decal on the forehead of their helmet that from any distance at all looks like a Sheriffs badge. I've always thought that a white bike with a white cop style fairing with a half-way photo-realistic painting of the red and blue lights on the fairing will get you noticed too.

FWIW,
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:29 PM   #21
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regarding conspicuity

I've never been a "serious" motorcycle rider until recently, meaning, I've never really put on serious miles before. Before buying the GS this year, the most I've probably ever covered in a day was probably about 300-400 miles.

I like the idea of conspicuity -- I've always had a nice big yellow helmet, and I've taken Fish's advice on the SOLAS. I think I may take off the BMW stickers and replace them with some kind of SOLAS design. But that's about as far as I'm going to go. I've got a black GS, and I'll be riding in a black armored-leather suit this summer, with some nice black armored leather boots.

My black leather suit has some black 3M reflective stuff on it (just ordered it today, the BMW atlantis suit, dunno if this was the smartest choice but it looks reasonable to me). So the bike is going to be reasonably visable at night -- night riding has always seemed to me to be the safest, other than worries about hitting deer / moose / etc, going round an unfamiliar corner too fast and being suprised by sand or gravel... and conspicuity is not much of an issue with thoes dangers. I don't live in a big city so busy nighttime traffic is never an issue for me.

I agree with chopperman on a lot of this. The most dangerous daytime riding situations are messy intersections with lots of traffic, either when you're going straight through the intersection or turning left (are people going to see you? will you get nailed if they dont?). With the limited size of a motorcycle there's only so much you can do with what you're wearing to get attention, and your clothings ability to differentiate yourself from the background depends highly on what that background is. Definately I think a little pro-active leaning on the horn to wake people up during scary situations would be more effective than putting on one of those schmantzy aerostich jackets.

Perhaps somebody needs to design some kind of "retractible wings" with an SUV image painted on it, to make the bike look like an SUV and scare motorists...

There's a lizard in australia that does something just like that, they used to try to scare me as a kid, but you pretty quickly figure out their game (after trying to scare you by running after you with their frills out, they high-tail it in the other direction...)




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Old 04-19-2003, 09:01 PM   #22
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Wxwax, It is clear that you have done extensive reasearch in conspicuity and have a great deal of knowledge that I appreciate and will use to some degree. Your writing is really good as well. Do you do this stuff for a living? You must, it's that good. Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:58 PM   #23
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Thanks AK, flattery will get you everywhere. There's a lot of cut and paste here, except for the precis and the intros. Chopperman's the real writer in our group.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Said Lauren:
For bikes, I think looking like a cop on a bike gets people's attention ...
I tend to agree with you, Lauren. I notice that cars frequently slow down when I'm behind them. I have the 520s on, plus my clown jacket and a white helmet, and I've come to the conclusion that they think I might be a cop, and they don't want to risk it.
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:48 AM   #25
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When I was learning to ride, the instructors all wore black leathers, a white helmet and a flourescent yellow Sam Browne - looked exactly like police motorcyclists - possibly why we all had to wear the Sam Brownes too, although any cage driver not able to see about 5 learner motorcyclists in a staggered line witht he instructor at the rear would have to be seriously blind
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:01 AM   #26
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Quote:
Said wxwax:
I tend to agree with you, Lauren. I notice that cars frequently slow down when I'm behind them. I have the 520s on, plus my clown jacket and a white helmet, and I've come to the conclusion that they think I might be a cop, and they don't want to risk it.
This happens to me all the time too, slow cagers even pull over and let me pass... just one more reason to wear the HI-VIZ IMHO.
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:40 AM   #27
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I've noticed that since I added a set of yellow 520's to my GS, people tend to move out of the fast lane for me. I guess they think I'm some kind of official vehicle.

I can't remember which one , but, one of the bike mags re-printed a study that had people watch a video. In it, there were people passing a ball back and forth and those watching were asked to keep track of how many passes took place. (simulating a mind occupying task like driving) At one point a man in a gorilla suit walked across the back of the screen. At another point the gorilla walked out, beat his chest, and then walked off. At another point a woman in a red dress walked across the screen.(simulating the introduction of an unanounced factor like a motorcyclist)

When asked later, the vast majority of the people never saw the gorilla or woman. (I forget the exact percentages) The point being that even highly conspicious objects rarely grab the attention of the preocupied. And these people were only asked to do one thing. Imagine if they were driving, talking on the phone, applying make-up, reading a book, beating their kids, etc.

Of course you guys all know the answer. Wear or ride something a bit conspicious. (for those who may notice). Ride like your invisible for those whose attention can't be had. And dress like you're gonna crash.
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Old 04-20-2003, 08:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Said wxwax:
I tend to agree with you, Lauren. I notice that cars frequently slow down when I'm behind them. I have the 520s on, plus my clown jacket and a white helmet, and I've come to the conclusion that they think I might be a cop, and they don't want to risk it.
I have 520s on all the time and the same thing happens to me!

Eric
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:40 AM   #29
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Quote:
Said RubberDown:
I have 520s on all the time and the same thing happens to me!

Eric
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I think most people actively look for traffic cops (probably because they are speeding), so if they see something that could possibly be a cop they notice it.
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:00 AM   #30
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Years ago MCN did a test. They sent a guy out on a large, bright colored bike with reflective vest, orange helmet the whole nine yards. Then they sent out a guy in black leathers, helmet, small dark sport bike. They both had equal amounts of "conflicts." Then they sent out a guy on an ex cop bike with a half helmet, tan jacket. He had no problems. It seems people 'see' cops. My victim and I started wearing those bright green vests that you see bicycle riders wearing. First trip on highway 5 a semi tried to merge into us and a Saturn pulled out of a parking lot in from of us while staring at us. The best part, while walking around in Mount Shasta, every store we entered, people commented on how bright we were. Then we almost get run over walking in a cross walk. I give up. Other than a wearing a rotating beacon on your helmet, we are all doomed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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