Wearing Hi-Viz Lime Yellow gear is different than wearing fluorescent hi viz garments. Fluorescent pigments are those which react to invisible light wavelengths and seem to vibrate, but they don’t fluoresce under man-made lighting, so the effect doesn’t work indoors or at night. Only in sunlight. And over longer terms people sometimes don’t like being around the ‘glowing’ effects of fluorescent colors because they are more visually fatiguing when viewed continuously.
Our garments are High-Viz Lime Yellow, not fluorescent hi vis. Human eyes prefer natural-occurring colors long-term, and this is the most highly visible natural (non-fluorescent) color available. On a bike it’s helpful to be as conspicuous as possible.
Writer Bob Higdon was an early Aerostich Hi-Viz Lime Yellow adopter. Of his bright new jacket he wrote “Collects dirt faster than anything I’ve worn since diapers.” He’s still wearing Hi-Viz, fifteen years later. And even dirty with years of hard use and thousands of miles of road-wear, it’s still effective. Firefighters also commonly wear Hi-Viz turnout gear that has faded and darkened from years of work and soot and smoke exposure. Even dirty it remains more visible than other colors.
You would not believe how funny everyone (riders and non-riders alike), thought this color was when we first began making Hi-Viz Lime Yellow garments. I became a ‘believer’ about ten minutes into my first ride. It’s hard to quantify how traffic reacts to a motorcyclist moment-by-moment, but almost immediately I had the definite feeling that more of the surrounding motorists saw me. Over the years there have been lots of funny experiences — like being mistaken for an EMT or fire fighter, too. Many Aerostich Hi-Viz wearers report stuff like this.
One wrote: “I gota tell yah, I just love this Hi-Viz jacket. I ride about 30,000 miles a year and this thing gives me a feeling of ‘False Security'. I noticed right off the air space around me seemed to increase by 30%. Cars move a bit further from the dividing line. And what’s the best is when I’m coming up behind someone, once they look in their rear view mirror and see me they pull over to the next lane. I’m sure they think I’m some kind of emergency vehicle or something. Then as I pass by with my tail and ears wagging in the wind (suction-cup helmet mounted), they must figure they’ve been had. Sincerely, Robin R. Haywood”
Another customer, after a typical testimonial, added this: “P.S. Deer still come bursting out of the woods onto the road but some have a hoof over their eyes due to the HI-Viz”
Nowadays all kinds of brightly colored riding gear is available and this is a very good trend. We had a lot of fun introducing Aerostich Hi-Viz Lime Yellow to a mostly black and gray world many years ago. Back then it was just as weird and geeky as the first Roadcrafters themselves were.
Today’s ever-more-crowed roads and more-distracted and isolated automobile drivers are two reasons to consider wearing highly visible gear. All Aerostich Roadcrafters, AD1s and Dariens use a specific Hi-Viz Lime Yellow (Fed. Spec. #595-23655. This color was first developed for use in municipal safety applications. Research showed that fire trucks painted with this were up to 300% less likely to be involved in accidents.)
Choosing an Aerostich Hi-Viz Lime Yellow color option will insure that you’ll be more clearly and easily seen everyone around you when riding in all sun, overcast, and low light environments.
—Mr. Subjective 10-13
More information on this topic can be found here:
New Zealand Motorcycle Conspicuity Study