Study finds hi-viz clothing has no effect on driver passing distances

Nightrider London Sportive

The recent focus on cycling safety, especially in cities, has regularly featured the suggestion that cyclists ought to wear high visibility clothing.

The promotion of hi-viz has included police operations to stop cyclists wearing ordinary clothes or cycling kit and give them official advice that they ought to be doing more to make themselves seen.

Into this consensus drops a timely study on cycling kit from researchers at Bath and Brunel universities. 269 participants used bikes with ultrasonic devices fitted to measure the distance at which motorists overtook them while they wore a variety of different cycling kit. This included a typical sporting rider's Lycra, a casual rider's normal clothing, and several different commercially available hi-viz vests.

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Michael Hutchinson is a writer, journalist and former professional cyclist. As a rider he won multiple national titles in both Britain and Ireland and competed at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He was a three-time Brompton folding-bike World Champion, and once hit 73 mph riding down a hill in Wales. His Dr Hutch columns appears in every issue of Cycling Weekly magazine