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Distance perception causes motorcycle accidents

While riding your motorcycle, you've probably been cut off numerous times. Maybe it hasn't caused an accident yet and you're just curious about why it keeps happening. Maybe it put you in the hospital.

Either way, you have questions. Did the driver of the other vehicle pull out in front of you recklessly? Did he or she really not see your motorcycle, even though it was the middle of the day? How could this happen?

While all cases are different, scientists have noted that these accidents often occur because of a problem drivers have accurately judging the distance.

The issue is with size. Since a motorcycle is so much smaller than a car, when a driver glances over quickly and looks at it, his or her initial gut feeling is that it's farther away than it really is. If you were in a car or a pickup, the driver would judge the distance more accurately, but the size is deceptive.

This is just a split-second reaction. It's not as if the driver looked at your bike, did the math on distance and speed and decided there was plenty of room. The driver just glanced over, felt like there was plenty of space and pulled out in front of you. By the time he or she realized the mistake, it was too late to avoid a crash.

Now, knowing why this happens doesn't excuse the driver. He or she has to take time to properly analyze the situation before pulling into traffic. When this doesn't happen and you're injured, you need to know all of the rights that you have to financial compensation.

Source: Gearheads, "Why Don’t Drivers See Motorcyclists? Science Explains Why!," Joe Appleton, accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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