How do you make yourself visible to motorists?
A. There are a number of good solutions to this. First and foremost, try to remain visible where you ride. Don’t quickly dart in and out of tight little spots where motorists won’t see you. Wear bright yellow clothing, the day-glow variety if you have such a jacket or shirt. If you don’t have such a garment, get one. Have a bright flag prominently displayed on a pole, with the flag portion about 6-7 feet off the pavement level. If the flag is too high, motorists can miss it if in close proximity to you. Better yet, have two flags, with one on each side of the seat, so the poles and flags move independently of one another, really bringing attention to you (BIG plus). Place reflective fluorescent stickers on your trike. Put a brilliant flashing LED tail light clearly displayed to the rear. Use a bright headlight in darker conditions, whether it be a shaded mountain road or any road at night. A cycling friend of mine is color blind. He told me that the typical bright orange flags that really stand out to people with normal vision only appear a muddy brown to him. He further told me that, by comparison, brilliant yellow stands out very well to his eyes. This is good information to know, and without his valuable tip, I would have never considered such a possibility! Make sure that bright yellow is in your flag and on your trike as much as practical. You could even get a bright yellow helmet – they really show up very well, and reveal your head to motorists. More good news is that trikers have a clear advantage over bikers due to the trike’s bizarre appearance, which subconsciously calls upon people’s brains to figure out what it is they are seeing. Trikes demand identification by otherwise distracted drivers. I can guarantee you’ll get their attention! All this works for me, and I’m still alive to report it to you now. If I missed a tip, please comment.
This triker has a lot of yellow showing to the rear. He also wears a day-glow green tee shirt over his long sleeve riding shirt. His flag (not visible in this photo) is bright orange. So, he has all three main visibility colors, plus his flashing tail light. This trike pilot is David Massey, with whom I set out in 2013 for a Pacific Coast tricycle journey. He is also riding a yellow Azub trike. Imagine if David had on a bright yellow helmet too! Then the package would be complete.