Bright Colors Save Lives

LTRs know that in principle, I’m against bottom up safety for cycling.

The AAA, on the other hand, is only for bottom up safety as they’d rather have some dead cyclists on their hands than to take an honest look at how much pain and misery their members are causing society.

Thus, the whole bright colors nonsense which is awesome because it’s so hard to comply.

This is because most people intuitively realize that if the color of your shirt is your biggest danger and you are not in a gang then things are messed up.

This is why nobody buys a car and paints alternating light and dark florescent stripes on it. That’s because they’d rather get into a wreck than drive a dork mobile.

To test this, I emailed the following to AAA:

“I have a problem when parallel parking on 50 MPH roads where I try to cross (there is no cross walk) and I almost get hit everyday because I can not see the black and gray cars.

I noticed that you suggest bright colors for cyclists:

Since the roads are so deadly there are almost no cyclists on these roads. There are many cars.

Can you please recommend bright colors to motorists as well so we can get to and from our cars safely?

Can you please sponsor a bill which states that if a car is not brightly colored and it’s hard to see then the one driving this car is automatically liable for the accident? Often dark clothing is given as a reason. I can see people walking on the street with my car because it has headlights, and I drive slowly enough to stop at any time.
Plus, pedestrians are slow. Cars literally come out of no where due to the dark colors even during the day.

The car below, for example, has a good mix of colors to be seen in any kind of daylight:

I have tried to get them to slow the speed limit, but I have heard there’s a law which prohibits this obvious safety precaution. 50 MPH roads and parallel parking do not mix!

Can you please propose a solution which still allows me to park near my gym, but not be faced with almost certain death, daily?

Certainly your organization is in favor of brightly colored cars and slower speed limits, both obvious solutions which will save many of your member’s lives.”

The response was:

“Dear Mr. Unbound,

Your email to Ms. Yolanda Cade, Managing Director, AAA Public Relations was received and referred to my attention. Thank you for sharing your concerns and ideas regarding cycling safety. Car buyers often ask, “What color car is safest?” Unfortunately, the relationship between car color and safety is not at all clear, because only two scientific investigations of the matter have been conducted to date, and the authors of both studies admitted that they were not able to draw clear or generalizable conclusions. The relationship between car color and safety is complex. Background color (trees, desert, etc.), weather conditions (rain, fog, snow),and daylight have a profound effect on conspicuity. In addition, any study of the relationship between car color and crashes must consider all confounding variables including age, sex, weather conditions, and the time of day that the crash occurred.

It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a safer solution for parking your vehicle when you visit your local gym. A good start may be to discuss the safety concern with your gym, and also with your local city planning department. Traffic Engineers are tasked with this solving these types of issues, but they often don’t know about them, because they aren’t reported. We suggest visiting the League of American Bicyclists website for more information on safety techniques for riding in the traffic situations your faced with daily. We welcome your feedback at any time and thank you again for sharing your thoughts.”

My response:

“Thank-you for your reply.

Knowing that a single color is not safe in all conditions, will you
please take down the advice to those of us trying to get to our cars
to wear bright colors?

As you said, the relationship between color and safety is not clear.

Does not advice to wear bright colors give us a false sense of
security? Shouldn’t cyclists and pedestrians be advised that bright
colors have questionable if no benefit at all?

Finally, can you please advise the NHTSA and police reporting agencies
to stop using “dark clothing colors” as a “cause” for pedestrians and
cyclists being hit by automobiles?

I feel that for all modes, useless safety advice is worse than no advice at all.”

I still have not gotten a reply.

Apparently the AAA is deliberately giving useless safety advice to cyclists and pedestrians which they know is so crazy that most people will not follow it. This way they can protect their members when they kill us.

Cyclists, pedestrians, and yes, even motorists deserve better.

Creating a system where there’s a certain death for 30,000 plus people a year is wrong.

Boycott AAA until it puts out some real safety information such as slowing down cars, getting dangerous drivers off the road, and supporting safer infrastructure for all mode users.


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