I don't recall this being posted before but if it has been discussed my apologies. I picked up on this from The Views of a Cyclist from Croydon blog.
The article is titled Cyclist visibility at night: Perceptions of visibility do not necessarily match reality, is authored by JM Wood, RA Tyrrell, R Marszalek, P Lacherez, T Carberry, BS Chu, and MJ King and is published in the JournalÂ ofÂ theÂ AustralasianÂ CollegeÂ ofÂ RoadÂ Safety,Â 21(3).Â pp.Â 56â€60.
The abstract is quoted below and the full journal article is available in PDF format here.
Visibility limitations make cycling at night particularly dangerous. We previously reported cyclistsâ€™ perceptions of their own visibility at night and identified clothing configurations
that made them feel visible. In this study we sought to determine whether these self-perceptions reflect actual visibility when wearing these clothing configurations. In a closed-road
driving environment, cyclists wore black clothing, a fluorescent vest, a reflective vest, or a reflective vest plus ankle and knee reflectors. Drivers recognised more cyclists wearing the
reflective vest plus reflectors (90%) than the reflective vest alone (50%), fluorescent vest (15%) or black clothing (2%). Older drivers recognised the cyclists less often than younger drivers
(51% vs 27%). The findings suggest that reflective ankle and knee markings are particularly valuable at night, while fluorescent clothing is not. Cyclists wearing fluorescent clothing
may be at particular risk if they incorrectly believe themselves to be conspicuous to drivers at night.