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Why are motorcycles so difficult for drivers to spot?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | Auto Accidents |

Motorcycles are an excellent way to get around, particularly during the warmer months.  The downside of being a motorcyclist is that you do not have the same physical protection as other road users, and accidents can happen.

One of the most commonly used excuses when drivers hit a motorcycle is that they didn’t see them. In some cases, this might be true. So why are motorcycles so difficult to spot?

They are narrow

Motorcyclists are often able to weave through traffic. They can do this because their motorcycle is so narrow. However, being narrow does have its drawbacks — most notably, low visibility. A driver may fail to spot you in their mirrors or as you arrive at an intersection. Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to the blind spots that exist in all vehicles.

Inattentional blindness

Although it sounds strange to say it, a driver may see you, yet fail to register you. There is a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. Essentially, this means that you have entered the driver’s field of vision, but their perceptual system has failed to register that you are there. This makes the chances of a crash very likely.

What can you do?

One thing you may want to consider is making yourself as visible as possible. By wearing bright and reflective clothing, or having reflective stickers on your bike and helmet, you will stand out more.

Of course, no matter what precautions you take, you could still end up in a crash. If you have been injured because of a negligent or reckless driver, make sure you look into your legal options.

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