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Why Don’t Drivers See Motorcycles?

When drivers don’t exercise caution while sharing the road with motorcyclists, they can contribute to dangerous motorcycle crashes. Indicative of how vulnerable motorcycle riders are, the NHTSA reported 5,579 motorcyclist fatalities throughout the United States in 2020. In Wisconsin, 49 motorcycle drivers and passengers died in collisions in 2021.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41% of all motorcycle crashes occur when the other vehicle’s driver does not see the motorcycle. Serious injuries and fatalities can result from motorists not seeing riders in time to prevent a collision. Understanding the reasons behind this failure can help drivers and motorcyclists take measures to stay safer on the road.

Motorcycles Have a Smaller Profile

Motorcycles have a smaller profile than cars, making them more difficult to see on the road. This smaller profile can be especially dangerous at night or in low-visibility conditions like inclement weather.

Blind Spots

One of the most dangerous risks for motorcyclists is blind spots. Blind spots are areas around a vehicle where the driver has difficulty seeing other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles.

Every car has blind spots that can pose risks for motorcyclists. These blind spots can be located on the vehicle’s front, back, and sides. The size of the blind spot depends on the type and size of the vehicle. For example, SUVs and trucks have larger blind spots than smaller cars.

Motorcyclists also have blind spots. These spots are located on both sides of the rider and directly behind the motorcycle. Wearing a helmet contributes to these blind spots and can make it difficult for the rider to see other vehicles when changing lanes or turning. As a result, motorcycle riders need to be aware of their blind spots and use extra caution when changing lanes or making turns.

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions can cause a driver to see a motorcycle approaching from far away and misjudge the speed at which it travels. As a result, the driver may not have enough time to brake or swerve out of the way, leading to a collision. The illusion can affect the driver’s ability to judge distance, making it difficult to gauge how far away a motorcycle is.

Inattentional Blindness

Inattentional blindness is a phenomenon that occurs when people fail to notice an object or event that is clearly in their field of view. This can happen for several reasons: distraction, fatigue, and anxiety. Inattentional blindness can have serious consequences, leading to catastrophic road accidents.

For example, a driver distracted by changing music on the radio or their phone may fail to see a motorcyclist changing lanes. Or, someone anxious about an upcoming presentation may not notice a motorcycle rider pulling out of the office parking lot as the distracted motorist arrives.

Though it is often difficult to avoid inattentional blindness, it is essential to be aware of its potential risks. By paying attention to your surroundings and keeping your mind focused, you can help prevent this phenomenon from occurring.

What Can Drivers and Riders Do to Prevent Car-Motorcycle Accidents?

Car-motorcycle collisions can be particularly hazardous for bikers. Fortunately, a few simple tips for both sides can reduce the incidence of collisions between cars and motorcycles.

Maintaining Heightened Driver Awareness

The best way to avoid a car-motorcycle accident is to be aware of blind spots and to exercise caution when driving. For example, when changing lanes, motorists need to check their mirrors and look over their shoulders to ensure there are no motorcycles in their blind spots.

Maintaining heightened awareness can help car drivers avoid striking motorcycles. Awareness strategies include keeping a safe distance from motorcyclists to give the driver ample time to brake while allowing the biker enough road to maneuver if the circumstances call for it.

Making Motorcycles More Noticeable

Riders should wear brightly colored clothing and use reflective tape on their bikes to help make motorcycles more visible. Furthermore, under Wisconsin law, riders must always use their headlights, even during the daytime. This practice can reduce motorcycle collisions by up to 23%.

Recovering Fair Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident

No one ever expects to be in a serious motorcycle accident. However, if it does happen, it is important to know what steps to take to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

After seeking medical attention, contact a Fox Cities motorcycle accident lawyer with Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers. We can help you gather evidence to support a motorcycle accident claim, including photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records.

Your lawyer will help you file a claim against the at-fault driver to get you a fair settlement for the injuries they caused by their negligent actions. With an experienced attorney from Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers on your side, you can maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

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