Does inattention blindness put motorcyclists in danger?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable folks on the roads out there. Unfortunately, they are also often overlooked by other drivers. More than one motorcyclist has been in a crash only to hear the other driver exclaim, “I didn’t even see you!”

Inattention blindness may be to blame. Inattention blindness occurs when drivers are focused so hard on one particular task that they fail to notice other visual information in their environment. It gets worse, naturally, when a driver already has their attention divided, whether that’s due to their focus on traffic patterns or their cell phone – making inattention blindness more likely to happen.

How can a driver simply not see something right in front of them?

Inattention blindness isn’t purposeful, but the human brain automatically filters out whatever it doesn’t currently deem “important enough to note.” That’s often what someone simply doesn’t expect to see.

Because motorcyclists are often solo travelers and they’re not as common as trucks and passenger vehicles, other drivers can literally look right through them, especially when their concentration is already divided.

Inattention blindness often comes into play in specific scenarios. For example:

  • A driver merges into the lane where a motorcyclist is riding. They may not have even registered the fact that the rider they just passed was now in their blind spot because they simply weren’t looking.
  • A driver fails to see a motorcyclist at an intersection and turns left in front of them. This is so common that motorcyclists often make it a point to “nudge ahead” of cars at lights just so they’re sure to be seen.

There’s little the average motorcyclist can do to protect themselves from this kind of problem except for the basics. They can make themselves as visible as possible by wearing neon or other bright, reflective colors and using their headlights during the day – and being extra cautious near intersections where inattention blindness is often an issue.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle wreck or your loved one was killed due to another person’s failure to be observant while they drove, you have every right to ask for fair compensation for your losses. Experienced legal guidance can help.