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Vests for Motorcyclists

Motorcycle Safety Vests are Often a Requirement for Military Personnel

Motorcycle safety should be a priority of any man or woman who chooses a motorcycle as their mode of transportation.  However, military men and women seem to particularly know the value of safety.  There are regulations for all military branches that specify certain personal protection equipment (PPE) be used and other pieces of equipment that are highly recommended.  One such piece of equipment your motorcycle lawyer will ask you about is "were you wearing your motorcycle safety vest?"

Whether or not a motorcycle safety vest is required varies both by each particular branch of the military (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy), as well as by location.  While a branch may not require a motorcycle safety vest, all branches allow for individual posts and bases to add safety requirements based on location need.  In all cases, there are certain attributes to motorcycle safety vests that make them a benefit to any motorcyclist as well as a sound safety decision.


One of the reasons that motorcycle safety vests have often been required or recommended is because of their potential to increase the visibility of the motorcyclists.  Motorcycle accidents are most often caused by another vehicle’s driver not seeing the motorcyclist.  A motorcycle vest is often recommended to be in a bright, noticeable color, particularly for day time riding.  For additional night-time or decreased visibility conditions, the vest should have reflective strips.  These reflective strips ideally should reflect light from all directions including ambient and environmental light, not just straight ahead from headlights.  All too often, the arms of these vests do not contain significant reflective material but the motorcyclist will benefit if the arms, too, have strips.


Motorcycle safety vests should not only provide for visibility, but also durability.  From the daily usage standpoint, a well built and sturdy vest will be able to withstand daily use as well as exposure to the environment as occurs while riding a motorcycle.  Additionally, a sturdy vest can offer protection from scrapes and contusions if the military motorcyclist is involved in an accident.

Zippers and straps of the vest should be durable and be able to stay intact with daily usage as well in the case of an accident.


The best designed motorcycle safety vest can do nothing if it is not being worn.  Make sure when choosing a vest that it fits comfortably but snugly enough to serve its function.  Doing some mild stretching movements can tell the motorcyclist whether or not the vest will be comfortable enough during usual movements.  Also, military personnel should wear their uniforms so that they will know how the vest fits over their usual clothing.  Pockets and easily-accessed allowances for military ID make the vest less problematic as the service man or woman has to produce or present their ID.


While the requirements of motorcycle safety vest usage vary, its ability to add to the safety of a military motorcyclist does not.  Vests can add safety via visibility and protection with their use.

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