There aren’t a lot of motorcycles out there in the traffic mix. Many drivers don’t always see motorcycles, encounter them or think they’ll be driving around them. They’re also smaller and harder to see.
If you don’t actively look for and think about motorcycles, you will be more likely to not see them, even when they’re right in front of you. You can take steps to help make sure you see motorcycles, and you just might save a life.
People who ride motorcycles or have family members who ride are more likely to see motorcycles in traffic. So, you can train your brain to help you see motorcycles by thinking about them or your friend or family member who rides.
Driver distractions—include everything from cell phones, GPS systems, passengers, eating, reading, or changing the radio station. These distractions take your eyes off the road and can keep you from seeing a motorcycle. Commit to driving distraction-free, for your own safety and that of everyone else on the road.
If a car’s blind spot can hide another car, it can definitely hide a motorcycle. Check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging, especially in heavy traffic.
Click here for a vivid example of motion-induced blindness to see how a motorcycle can disappear right before your eyes.
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, so they’re harder to spot in traffic and can be hidden by other vehicles or roadside features. Their smaller size also makes it harder for you to judge their speed. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, especially when turning (left-hand turns are particularly dangerous) or pulling in or out of drive ways and parking lots.
About half of all motorcycle crashes involve a collision with another vehicle. In most cases, the driver turns in front of the motorcycle because the driver didn’t see the motorcycle or misjudged the motorcycle’s distance and speed. You can help reverse this trend by taking an extra minute to really look for motorcycles when you’re turning at intersections or when you’re pulling in or out of driveways and parking lots. Double-check traffic at these spots.
A crash involving a motorcycle and another vehicle can have very tragic consequences—the rider can easily sustain life-altering or fatal injuries. You can save a life by taking the time to look for motorcycles every time you get behind the wheel.
You can find more safe driving tips here.