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Drivers fail to see motorcycles twice as often as cars

Drivers often fail to see motorcycles. It sounds so simple, and so easily avoidable, but it happens all the time. It also leads to serious accidents. Drivers who don't see motorcycles may cut them off, turn in front of them, merge into them on the interstate or cause crashes in numerous other ways.

How often does it happen? One study showed people different vehicles in pictures when they were not sure what to expect. These people did not see taxi cabs in 31 percent of the cases. However, they did not see motorcycles in a stunning 65 percent of cases.

This shows that they miss motorcycles twice as often as other cars. If a vehicle comes around a corner when a driver isn't expecting it, for example, if that vehicle is a motorcycle, the odds are very good that the driver is never going to see it at all.

Remember, with the rate set at 65 percent, that doesn't just mean people miss motorcycles a lot of the time. It means they miss them most of the time. They only saw them in the other 35 percent of the cases.

Experts have considered many reasons. Motorcycles are less common, so drivers don't expect them to be there, and they may simply miss seeing them because of those expectations. Motorcycles are also small and fast, which makes them stand out a bit less than larger vehicles, like taxi cabs.

Whatever the reason, it's clear that this issue can lead to serious and potentially fatal crashes. Those involved, and their family members, must know if they have a right to financial compensation.

Source: Psychological Science, "Motorcycles Are Missed Because Drivers Aren’t Looking for Them," accessed March 21, 2018

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