There are many reasons why car drivers don’t seem to see bikes.
But it’s usually due to how the human brain works.
A group of researchers recommend saying “bike” out loud to yourself when you see one.
Here we are, adhering to the ATGATT (all the gears all the time) rule, the headlights switched on and positioned in the lane for maximum visibility. Then we spot a driver waiting to exit her side of the junction. We know she sees us because we exchange glances.
Then she pulls right out in front of us with 10 metres to spare. It’s about this time when all the profanities of planet Earth, the galaxy and Proxima Centauri are spewed forth into the helmet’s chinbar.
Truth is, no driver wants the trouble of causing bodily harm to any biker (except for psychotic ones).
According to many researches, it’s all in the mind. Earlier, a study concluded that drivers could sometimes suffer from “inattentive blindness.” Their eyes saw the motorcycle, but their minds fail to register.
Now a new research from the University of Nottingham, UK says that drivers may suffer from “a short-term memory loss.”
They carried out tests with a BMW Mini and a driving simulator. The subjects consisted of both male and female subjects.
Tests found that the drivers actually saw the motorcycle, but somehow “forgot” that it’s there. It’s easy for drivers to be distracted by something and pull out in front of the bike. in 180 simulations, the subjects didn’t see a car 3 times and a motorcycle 16 times. Additionally, drivers tend to misjudge the distance and closing speed of motorcycles (this one we know very well).
The researchers have a solution to this problem. They recommended that the driver say, “Bike” out loud to himself when he sees one. Doing so will program the mind to register the motorcycle. It’s like reading out loud when you want to memorize the text.
We’ve kind of applied this in our daily lives when driving. Here, we would say, “Ada moto (there’s a bike).” Our spouses have also been helpful in this aspect.
Share this with your driving friends and see if it works.