Car Visibility Project

The government are presently paying Loughborough University to investigate the effects of bright materials fitted to motorcycles or riders. The aim is probably to produce some kind of unbiased factual report which can be referred to in future anti-motorcycling legislation - compulsory white helmets and orange jackets. Anyone with road dirt obscuring hat and coat will be fair game for any homicidal motorist.

The problem is complicated by four factors.

  1. Does the motorist look?
  2. Does he see?
  3. Can he see?
  4. Does he care?

We must be reasonable and assume that most sober and sane motorists try to avoid getting blood on their paintwork and in his youth he was once expected to read a numberplate with his eyes open. As most motorcycles are as large and no more colourless than a car numberplate so it should be fair to assume that the motorist is capable of seeing the motorbike. This leaves the question of obstruction to visibility. The same roadside furniture applies to bikes and cars so the culprit in the bike killer game must be the car itself; obstructions caused by stanchions, bodywork, misty windows and passengers. When seatbelts become compulsory the non inertia belts will hold drivers and their front seat passengers immobile. There will be a rapid increase in the number of cars with an imprint of a motorcycle in the passenger door as the present forty percent seat belt wearers rises towards one hundred percent. This is why I believe we should investigate this aspect of the visibility/conspicuity problem in preparation for another anti-bike battle.

To do this we must find out the extent of blind spots in the most popular cars and if we consider them to be dangerous, ask the Powers That Be to comment.


Road Safety Officer