Why do motorists often cause serious motorcycle crashes?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents

Thousands of people in the U.P. use motorcycles for transportation during the warmer part of the year.  Although the U.P. may not have weather that allows for year-round motorcycle use, avid riders can enjoy two-wheeled transportation from late spring into mid-fall.

Motorcycle riders are much more at risk out on the roads than those in larger vehicles. They lack the protection provided by an enclosed vehicle and could potentially suffer fatal injuries. Motorcycle riders are at particularly high risk when crashes occur on highways or rural roads with high speed limits. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe fractures and a host of other injuries are possible.

The average motorcycle rider takes great pride in carefully maintaining their motorcycle and likely follows traffic laws proactively for their own protection. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders often end up hurt or worse in crashes outside of their control. People in larger vehicles are often to blame for motorcycle collisions, and many of them offer the same explanation for why they caused a wreck.

Drivers often fail to notice motorcycles

One of the most common reasons people give for hitting a motorcycle is that they never notice it. Even though motorcycles are often very large and loud and riders may wear high-visibility gear, drivers can overlook motorcycles in traffic. Due to the phenomenon known as inattentional blindness, a driver could look across an intersection at a motorcycle and then proceed through the intersection as though the motorcycle were not there. This situation doesn’t involve an act of aggressive driving but rather a lack of awareness.

The human brain prioritizes certain visual information over other pieces of information based on the perceived level of risk. A motorcycle is smaller than other vehicles, which may mean that someone can see the motorcycle and never become aware of its presence. Drivers have to make a point of looking for motorcycles intentionally to overcome this known issue. Especially early and late in the season, drivers in the up may fail to watch carefully for motorcycle riders and could cause a wreck as a result.

Those injured in a motorcycle collision may need to pursue an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault. Ideally, though, crashes will be prevented whenever possible. Understanding what causes many motorcycle car crashes may can people better optimize their safety on their next ride.