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Inattentional blindness may be to blame for motorcycle crashes

| Aug 28, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents

One of the biggest dangers that motorcyclists face out on the road is the prospect of being hit by a driver. Police often report to the scene to ask what happened leading up to the crash after incidents like these occur. Drivers often tell law enforcement that they didn’t see the motorcyclist coming before they struck them. A study published in the academic journal Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in Jan. 2018 highlights how common it is for drivers to experience inattentional blindness that causes such crashes.

The Australia National University researchers who worked on the study found that intentional blindness can cause an individual to miss unexpected objects in plain sight.

Researchers found that the problem with motorists is that they have many different stimuli to pay attention to and process as they drive down the road. They determined that motorists often miss motorcyclists because they fall lower on their brain’s priority list than other stimuli.

The researchers wanted to prove their theories, so they took 56 adults and had them review photographs showing typical situations drivers may encounter while out on the road. They had the participants label each image as either unsafe or safe. They placed a taxi or motorcycle in the final picture to see if participants would notice it. At least 52% noticed one of two newly added vehicles. While 69% caught the taxi, only 35% saw the motorcycle, a result that confirmed for them that inattentional blindless does affect driver’s and their ability to see motorbikes.

Study authors concluded that motorists could benefit from receiving reminders about being more observant of motorcyclists.

The theory that motorists have difficulty seeing motorcyclists isn’t anything new. Law enforcement officers have been hearing these sentiments from drivers involved in crashes for years.

Potential distractions have only increased over the years, leaving motorists even more vulnerable to crashing into motorcyclists. Fortunately, there are laws on the books here in North Carolina that allow you to hold a negligent driver accountable for striking and injuring you. A motorcycle accidents attorney here in Cary can help you through a difficult time and fight for the compensation you deserve.


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