Motorcyclists have more training than many drivers on the road. However, they also have disproportionate representation in motor vehicle fatalities and crashes that lead to serious injury.
Sometimes, motorcyclists can contribute to crashes by making questionable maneuvers or choosing to drive after drinking. However, many motorcyclists are involved in crashes that were clearly the fault of a driver.
Drivers often claim that they looked but did not see the person on the motorcycle. How is it possible to miss a massive and loud motorized vehicle when looking at traffic?
Inattentional blindness limits what people actually notice
Your eyes report huge amounts of information to your brain while you drive. Your brain has to decide what the most important of all that information is and prioritize your attention on those matters. Safety risks, especially big vehicles, will quickly draw a driver’s attention.
Motorcycles, pedestrians and other, less threatening environmental factors may not receive the same attention. Unless drivers make it a point to look for motorcycles at intersections and before making turns or merging, they could look right at a motorcyclist and never actually realize that person is there. This phenomenon is called inattentional blindness, and it is a major safety risk for people on motorcycles and bicycles.
Experiencing inattentional blindness does not excuse someone for causing a crash and hurting another person. Drivers should do their best to overcome their limitations to protect the safety of everyone on the roads. Understanding why a driver might have hit you on your motorcycle can help you better stand up for yourself and seek the compensation you need.