Drivers' Perception And Unawareness Contribute To Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by drivers' failure to see them and by problems with perception.
Last year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported that there were over 3,600 accidents involving motorcycles, resulting in more than 3,000 injuries and 140 deaths. Statistics also show that 1,292 of those crashes were attributed to non-motorcycle drivers.
For people living in Dayton, motorcycles are becoming a more common sight on roads. Despite this, drivers still often misjudge the distance of a motorcycle or claim that they did not see the biker. These two factors are often cited in accidents involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles.
Drivers' Perceptions Of Motorcycles
A study conducted by Texas Tech University looked at how objects are examined by the human brain and then applied this to drivers of passenger vehicles. According to the researcher, when the brain is determining the distance of objects as well as their size and speed, it often relies on visual information provided through the eyes.
When people see a smaller object, they assume that the object is further away and when they see a larger object, they think the object is closer. However, as most people know, this is not an entirely accurate method of determining distance. As a result, drivers make the mistake of thinking the motorcycle is farther away than it really is, and an accident occurs.
Failure To Yield
The University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research examined motorcycle crashes in the state over a 10-year period. Looking at the causes of these crashes, researchers discovered that 60 percent of these accidents were between cars and motorcycles. Furthermore, the majority of these accidents were attributed to drivers who failed to yield to the motorcycle.
Researchers said that the failure to yield was the result of motorists' inability to see motorcycles. This could be due to increased driver distraction as cellphones have become a staple.
Tips On Increasing Visibility
There are many things that motorcyclists can do to improve their chances of being seen by drivers, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. These include the following:
- Wearing bright colors
- Putting reflective tape on helmets and clothing
- Avoiding hanging out in drivers' blind spots
- Avoid riding between lanes where it can be harder for motorists to see them
- Using hand signals and signal lights
Motorcyclists should never assume that drivers can see them. They should be sure that the driver acknowledges their presence in some way through a nod or eye contact.
However, while motorcyclists in Dayton can do things to lower their risk of getting into an accident with a passenger vehicle, they cannot entirely protect themselves. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries. Therefore, it may be a good idea for injured bikers to meet with a personal injury lawyer to understand what their rights are.