Why Drivers Have A Hard Time Seeing Motorcycle Riders And Bicyclists

It's not surprising to hear car drivers claim they didn't see a motorcyclist or bicyclist they had an accident with. Is that possible? Here are a few reasons why there could be truth to this.

  • Smaller profile. Motorcycles and bikes have smaller profiles compared to four-wheeled vehicles. This makes them tougher to see for car drivers Due to their larger size, cars and trucks appear more intimidating even when they are traveling at the same speed as a motorcycle. Drivers, as a result, tend to give way to other vehicles and overlook motorcyclists and cyclists. Car drivers may also think that these motorcyclists and bikers are farther away when they’re the same distance away as other vehicles on the road.
  • Lack of awareness. Drivers may not see motorcycle riders and bicyclists because they are not paying attention to their surroundings. There are motorcycles and bikes on the road. If drivers are fully aware of this, then chances are they will be more attentive toward their surroundings. They will look twice to check if there are smaller vehicles to help avoid accidents.
  • Motion Induced Blindness (MIB). This phenomenon formulated in 1991 says people in motion fail to see particular objects around them.
  • Smaller vehicles tend to switch lanes frequently. Weather, traffic and road conditions may compel motorcycle drivers and bicyclists to react differently than car drivers. This can make it harder to keep track of their movements. They can switch lanes fast, and even squeeze themselves in-between lanes if they are in a hurry. In some cases, they might need to avoid debris down the road which may cause them to change lanes suddenly.

Related: How Can Drivers Help Keep the Roads Safe for Motorcyclists?

When crashes are more likely to occur
Accidents are more likely to occur in the following situations:

  • When roads are wet and motorcycle drivers and bicyclists’ handling abilities are affected.
  • When car drivers are making left turns in front of motorcycle riders or bicyclists.
  • When large vehicles block the view of smaller vehicles.
  • When smaller vehicles need to avoid road obstructions, such as railways.
  • When motorcycles and bicycles are running alongside vehicle’s blind spots.

Related: Front Crash Results For Small Cars

All for one, one for all
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to emphasize that everyone has roles to play in making roads safer. Drivers will need to be more attentive and cautious of others they share the roads with. Whereas motorcycle riders and bicyclists should help drivers see them by wearing something conspicuous, such as bright-colored jackets. Pointing fingers will never undo accidents. Let's make ourselves responsible of each other's safety and be mindful of our surroundings.

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