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Drivers can make the road safer for motorcycles

To a rider with training and experience, motorcycles are not as dangerous as some people claim. However, passenger vehicle drivers are dangerous, and they are often the ones who put riders at risk.

No driver wants to hit a motorcycle, so why does it happen so often? According to Phys.org, the answer is in the way the brain processes information.

Looked-but-failed-to-see crashes

The most common type of crash is the looked-but-failed-to-see. As the name says, the collision happens when the driver looks directly at the motorcycle and then pulls out in front of it anyway.

Similar results held true for a test involving photographs. Researchers showed participants images of common driving situations. In the last picture, the image contained either a taxi or a motorcycle. Afterward, when asked if they noticed the object, 31% of the taxi group did not see it; however, 65% of the motorcycle group failed to see it.

Inattentional blindness

Several factors contribute to the inattentional blindness phenomenon that causes LBFTS crashes. One is the way the brain filters out information to prevent overstimulation. It does not register the things it does not expect.

Motolight explains that another contributor to inattentional blindness has to do with perception processes. Cars and trucks become larger as they get closer, and most drivers are able to judge the speed based on the size. Because motorcycles are smaller, they look farther away, so it is easy to misjudge both the speed and the distance.

With this understanding of the science behind the phenomenon, the need to consciously look for motorcycles should be obvious. Riding a motorcycle does not have to be dangerous.

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