Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys Protecting Your Rights

The real reason so many bigger vehicles cause motorcycle wrecks

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Four-wheeled passenger vehicles dominate the roads. While they have to share every street with vehicles ranging from semi-trucks and school buses to bicycles and motorcycles, four-wheeled passenger vehicles are the most common sight on the road in most places.

They are also the vehicles responsible for the majority of collisions that occur. Mistakes and oversights by operators of passenger vehicles can cause major consequences for others, especially motorcycle riders. Despite the cultural idea that motorcycle riders are often wild and unsafe, the average rider has training and understands how important safety is on the road.

The crashes that injure and kill motorcycle riders are often the fault of those in bigger vehicles. One particular issue is responsible for a significant portion of the collisions between passenger vehicles and motorcycles that occur, and understanding that issue could save someone’s life.

Drivers often don’t notice motorcycles

Anyone who has ever ridden on a motorcycle near a four-way stop is likely already aware of how frequently those in larger vehicles completely overlook motorcycles. They will take a turn as though the motorcycle weren’t across the intersection from them in plain view. This frustrating safety challenge is the result of a psychological phenomenon that experts call intentional blindness. Essentially, the human brain must prioritize certain visual information over other details when taking in large amounts of information in a short amount of time. When driving, the brain will make information that it thinks affects someone’s safety a priority.

The brain will focus on larger vehicles and other obstacles that seem likely to pose a threat to the vehicle and its occupants. Smaller objects, including motorcycles, bicycles and even pedestrians, won’t seem like a safety risk and therefore may never trigger someone’s cognitive awareness. Someone can look at a motorcycle and never actually recognize that it is right there in traffic, a few feet away.

Riders who are aware of this cognitive deficit in other motorists can adjust their behavior accordingly. Those who pretend to be invisible might make smarter choices in traffic and could avoid a crash in a situation that might lead to tragedy for someone who takes a less proactive approach.