It’s not easy being a motorcyclist. Motorcycles lack the stability, steel cage protection, and mass of a car or truck. They also seem invisible to a lot of motorists. While some collisions between cars and motorcycles are caused by a distracted driver, many occur because the motorcyclist simply was not seen.
Although the motorist’s eye sees the motorcycle, it fails to register in the brain. This phenomenon of motorcycle blindness has made some bikers wonder if it’s done deliberately. However, one does not have to enter the world of conspiracy theory to find an explanation. The problem is better explained by the nature of human perception and how our automatic driving reflexes are trained.
Cars and Trucks Outnumber Motorcyclists
Reflexes and ingrained driving habits are built through repetition. Because cars and trucks outnumber motorcyclists, the motorist is trained through endless repetition to look for and see other cars and trucks. This means that in a busy traffic situation when the motorist must rely heavily on reflexes and habits, the odd motorcycle isn’t seen.
Motorcyclists Have the Wrong Profile
Things on the road that present a threat such as cars and trucks are fairly wide compared to their height. Many stationary things that pass by our field of vision as we drive, are not threats and are therefore filtered out of our perception. These are often tall vertical things such as trees and sign posts. They have thin profiles where they are fairly tall compared to their width. In short, the brain gets trained to react to horizontal lines and filters out vertical lines.
Unfortunately, this phenomenon makes the motorcyclist’s vertical profile less noticeable. Bikers can make themselves more “horizontal” by installing running lights that are horizontally spaced far apart. They should also apply reflective tape horizontally to their bikes, helmets, and clothing.
The Motorcyclist’s Small Size Works against Them
The motorcyclist’s small size makes the person appear further away than his or her true distance. This combined with high speed sets the stage for a car pulling too closely in front of them from a side road.
Another problem is that their small size makes them more easily hidden inside of a car’s blind spots. The A-pillar on either side of the car’s windshield blocks the driver’s line-of-sight, particularly when they are scanning left and right at intersections. This blind spot combined with the motorcyclist’s small size, again increases the chances of cars cutting them off when pulling in front of them from a side road.
Although motorcyclists are less visible than other vehicle types, motorists must still avoid colliding with them as well as with other vehicles and pedestrians on the road. That’s why it is your right to demand compensation through the assistance of a Charles County accident lawyer from any motorist that injures you in an accident in which they failed to see you. Contact us at the Law Offices of John Critzos, II by calling 844-Take-MyCase or visiting us online at 844TakeMyCase.com for a free case evaluation.
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