It's extremely common to mandate that rifle hunters in the United States wear fluorescent orange, some states are now changing the laws to also allow fluorescent pink.

The article (April 3, 2018) I found on how Maryland changed their laws said,

It’s no joke, however, that Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Virginia, New York and Wisconsin allow hunters to wear pink.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wrote in a letter to lawmakers that “there has been no nationally recognized study completed … on the effectiveness of this daylight fluorescent pink as a safety color.”

Have there been any studies done on this at all, even if not nationally recognized?


1 Answer 1


This article, Color Blind Awareness shows how people with normal vision and those with one of the three forms of color blindness see various colors.

Scroll down to the colored pictures and you will see that people with Deuteranopia (unable to perceive green light) and Protanopia (unable to perceive red light) see pink as grayish (Deuteranopes) or (bluish) (Protanopes). People with normal color vision and Tritanopes (unable to see blue light) see pink as pink.

The article summarizes:

Protanopes are more likely to confuse:

  1. Black with many shades of red

  2. Dark brown with dark green, dark orange and dark red

2.[sic] Some blues with some reds, purples and dark pinks

  1. Mid-greens with some oranges

Deuteranopes are more likely to confuse:

  1. Mid-reds with mid-greens

  2. Blue-greens with grey and mid-pinks

  3. Bright greens with yellows

  4. Pale pinks with light grey

  5. Mid-reds with mid-brown

  6. Light blues with lilac

People with one of the forms of color blindness are not necessarily completely blind to one color, just less sensitive. Someone with a mild case of Protanopia, for example, will have no trouble seeing a red light, but you might not trust him to select a power tie.

How much of a safety problem could this be for fluorescent garments and signs? According to the National Eye Institute:

As many as 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women with Northern European ancestry have the common form of red-green color blindness

Elsewhere this article (same link) states:

Protanomaly is an X-linked disorder estimated to affect 1 percent of males

There are two conditions on the first statement that could bring it into accord with the second: "as many as..." and "... of Northern European ancestry.." Still, one would be happier if the discrepancy were explained.

I could not find anything about fluorescent pink as opposed to merely pink, but if 8% of male hunters -- and drivers -- have even a bit of trouble instantly recognizing pink, wear orange.

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