Motorcyclists sometimes have an unfair reputation as risk-takers. People think of stunt drivers or one time that someone in a motorcycle cut them off. This causes them to paint everyone who enjoys motorcycles as an irresponsible or dangerous driver.
Although there certainly are motorcyclists who get hurt because they drink before riding, don’t practice defensive techniques or make other preventable mistakes, many other motorcycle crashes occur through no fault of the person on the motorcycle.
Motor vehicle drivers are frequently responsible for causing crashes with devastating consequences for the motorcyclist involved. Why do so many drivers have such a hard time staying safe around motorcycles?
Drivers don’t look for or notice the presence of motorcycles
As you drive, your eyes have to keep scanning an ever-changing environment, while your brain has to process all of that incoming information to help keep you safe. It is impossible for you to consciously reflect on every last detail, so your brain tends to focus on what it deems most important.
Safety concerns are usually the top priority, so people in vehicles will definitely notice a semitruck bearing down on them. However, they may not notice the readily visible and possibly loud motorcycle directly next to them.
Although it is a natural coping mechanism for the brain to focus on certain dangers more than others, people can overcome this tendency by mentally reminding themselves to check for pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles at the same time that they scan for traffic. Until all drivers start prioritizing frequent monitoring of their surroundings, they will keep causing motorcycle crashes and injuries and expenses.