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Why drivers often fail to notice large, loud motorcycles

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Motorcycles tend to grab people’s attention. They may be smaller than most other vehicles, but they are often also much louder. Some riders even intentionally modify their motorcycles to make them noisier.

Technically, motorcycles are subject to many of the same rules and regulations as any other motor vehicle. Riders need to follow traffic signs and communicate their intentions with others on the road. They need to carry insurance and have a license. They also need to follow traffic statutes for their own protection.

Unfortunately, motorcycle collisions are a somewhat common occurrence in Louisiana. Oftentimes, the drivers at fault for those crashes claim they never noticed the motorcycles that they hit.

How do people overlook motorcycles?

There are a few factors that could lead to drivers failing to notice a motorcycle in traffic. One is distraction. Distracted driving has become a commonplace issue across the United States. Quite a few motorists don’t keep their focus on the road. They eat, groom themselves or handle their phones while driving.

They may then cause severe collisions. Someone looking down at their phone at an intersection may never notice a motorcycle. They could also cause severe crashes in traffic if they overlook a motorcycle before turning, merging or accelerating.

The other reason drivers fail to notice motorcycles involves risk assessment. The brain has to constantly analyze traffic information. Someone driving can’t focus on everything at once. The brain prioritizes information that seems safety-critical when it has too much information to review.

It is all but impossible to overlook a semi-truck nearby because the brains sees it as a safety concern. Sadly, drivers can look right at a motorcycle and never notice it. The inattentional blindness that drivers experience keeps them from actually acknowledging the motorcycle. They may then cause a crash even though the motorcycle was readily visible.

When people cause motorcycle collisions due to negligence or intentional conduct, riders have certain rights. They can file insurance claims. They can also sometimes take the issue to court. A personal injury lawsuit can help pay for property damage expenses and costs caused by injuries. Holding drivers accountable for motorcycle collisions can reduce the harm caused to riders. Failing to notice a motorcycle is virtually never a valid excuse for causing a crash.