Why Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles

philFrankelWhy Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles

The most common reason for motorcycle accidents is the driver’s failure to see the motorcycle, resulting in violating the motorcyclist’s legal right-of-way.  You might think the only reason drivers don’t see motorcycles is that they’re not looking but awareness of motorcycles is more than looking.

Reasons Why Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles:

  • The driver is not sufficiently cautious and aware of surroundings
  • The driver is not looking in the direction of the motorcyclist
  • The motorcycle and rider is inconspicuous among larger vehicles
  • The driver misjudged the distance of the motorcycle
  • The driver is distracted by a cell phone or text messaging
  • The driver is distracted by someone else or something in the car

Since a motorcycle is substantially smaller than a car, it will appear to be further away when it really is not.  The difference in size between a motorcycle and a car may even cause drivers to subconsciously ignore the motorcycle.

Thus, after an accident drivers often say, “it came out of nowhere” and assume the motorcyclist must have been speeding.

You can see this illusion by looking at a basketball and a tennis ball next to each other while standing at a distance.  The basketball will appear to be closer although they are the same distance from you.

This illusion causes drivers making a left turn to think they have time to make the turn when in reality they do not.

Additional factors affecting a smaller object:

  1. There is less contrast between a smaller object (motorcycle) and the background. This means that the difference in color between the object and background becomes less as the object becomes smaller.
  2. The smaller an object, the more the color appears to change to blue/gray which coincidentally is the same color of the sky and asphalt.
  3. A motorcycle will have poorer resolution than larger cars, SUVs and trucks.
  4. When a driver sees a car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian or any other object, this is because light from the sun (or at night from headlights, street lights and the moon) strikes the surface of the car, truck or motorcycle and rider. Some of the light reflects back to the driver’s eye enabling the driver to visualize the object. Because a motorcycle and rider has less surface area than a car, less light will be reflected to a driver.

Additional factors and more detailed information can be found at www.NewYorkMotorcycleAccidentLawyer.com ; on the top menu, click on Accidents and then on Why Drivers Don’t See Motorcycles.

Understanding these factors helps us use deposition questions to prove that the driver caused the accident because the driver didn’t see the motorcycle.

If you have a question for an article, anything else, or would just like to say hello, please call Phil Franckel at 1-800-HURT-911 or send your question to Phil@HURT911.com

Philip L. Frankel Esq. and Rob Plevy, Esq. are attorneys with FRANCKEL & PLEVY, LLP representing people hurt in motorcycle and other accidents.  Disclaimer: This article should be considered advertising to represent people HURT in an accident; is for informational purposes and should not be relied upon because it could contain errors; the correct information may be different for your set of facts even though they seem similar; and is not legal advice which should only be obtained by contacting Phil Franckel, Esq. or Rob Plevy, Esq. for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances at 1-800-HURT-911.

See our web sites NYSeriousInjuryAttorneys.com, NYMotorcycleAttorneys.com and LIMotorcycleAttorneys.com.  If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, speak directly to Phil Franckel 24/7 at 1-800-HURT-911 — 1-800-487-8911.