Motorbike riders in Finland are being asked to ditch their traditional black leathers and trade them in for something a little bit more colourful. According to road safety organisation Liikenneturva, the trademark dingy dress of motorcyclists is the main reason why two-wheelers are so vulnerable on the roads.
As other drivers find motorbikes and scooters notoriously hard to spot, the group is urging riders to spruce up their road-wear with a splash of something bright. As well as allowing bikers to express their individuality, standing out from the crowd is said to be the best guarantee of safety.
A quarter of motorcycle accidents are caused because car drivers fail to spot bikes. Last year in Finland, 40 people died and 1,600 were injured in traffic accidents involving two-wheelers. In total, there are more than 400,000 motorcycles and mopeds on Finland’s roads.
Liikenneturva has been advising riders about the most noticeable hue to sport on their helmets and jackets. “For example, the visibility of helmets has been researched very carefully. The best alternative is solid white,” says Antero Lammi of Liikenneturva in a report by YLE. “But, also for example, neon yellow, neon orange or even solid red are good choices.”
Motorcycle enthusiast Hannu Kostermaa agrees with the advice and told YLE of another perk of having a white helmet. “One advantage is that people think you are a motorcycle policeman – and they notice you first,” he said.