Why Drivers Fail to See Motorcyclists in Plain Sight

Motorcyclist in Alabama

Being able to share the road safely and responsibly is important for avoiding dangerous accidents. Many individuals think they know how to be mindful of other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians on roads and highways. However, this is not always the case. Inattentive drivers are at an especially high risk of failing to notice motorcyclists on the road.

In fact, researchers from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society have recently discovered that many drivers today are not aware of motorcycles — even when the motorcycle may be directly in their line of vision. This phenomenon is often described as “in-attentional blindness,” and it is a contributing factor to many accidents involving motorcycles. These are called looked-for-but-failed-to-see crashes.

The research suggests that even the most cautious drivers are at risk of failing to notice motorcyclists on the road, even while safely keeping in their lane instead of lane splitting and causing a blind spot. Keeping motorcycle riders safe is just as important as keeping other drivers and their passengers safe, and this means everyone should be motorcycle-aware. Yet, the human brain may be less likely to detect a motorcyclist in plain sight than other vehicles.

This psychological bias and inattentiveness may exacerbate other mental and physical factors that prevent drivers from noticing motorcyclists. For example, the small size of motorcycles and blind spots may already prevent other drivers from seeing motorcyclists in time before an accident, especially at night. Additionally, distractions from other electronic devices, food, or poor weather conditions may cause drivers to cause a collision with a motorcycle.

Consequences of Inattentional Blindness

The consequences of in-attentional blindness can be very serious. Motorcycle accidents are much more likely to result in death, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Practicing motorcycle safety is very important for minimizing the risk of getting into a serious accident. The inattentive or negligent behavior by other drivers, however, may still create dangerous road conditions that make it difficult to avoid collisions. The latest available statistics show there were 1,867 motorcycle accidents in Alabama in one year.

An at-fault driver may try to say that inattentional blindness may be uncontrollable, but this excuse is not likely to hold up in court. Motorists who cause a motorcycle accident by failing to see a motorcyclist in plain sight may still be held liable.

Why You Need Legal Representation

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, it is important to hire attorneys who have a track record of successfully handling motorcycle accident claims. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to investigate the accident and build a persuasive case outlining the liability of the other party or parties. This process can be very intensive and involve extensive investigation in order to determine the level of each party’s liability.

The experienced attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have represented Alabama motorcycle accident victims and their loved ones since 1966. We understand what it takes to prove liability in cases involving inattentional blindness, and our legal team is ready to help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident. Contact our legal team today by phone or online for a free consultation.

Additional Motor Vehicle Accident Information

Harvey B. Morris is a lifelong Alabamian who has been practicing law in Huntsville since getting his law degree and passing the state bar in 1966.