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There are a variety of people who choose a motorcycle to help them move around California. However, some statistics indicate that motorcycle accidents happen in a disproportionately high number. Startlingly, many of the accidents happen because other drivers claim that they looked, but did not see, a motorcycle in the area.

Researchers have recently completed a study involving what they term looked-but-failed-to-see (LBFTS) accidents. In these accidents, drivers of more traditional vehicles claim that they looked before pulling into traffic. Because they did not see an oncoming motorcyclist, they pulled into its path, resulting in a collision. One researcher speculates that the brain naturally filters out certain sensory information in order to prevent an overload of information, and the brain may filter out certain information related to motorcycles.

The study involved 56 adults. According to researchers, 48 percent of participants failed to detect objects in photographs taken from a driver's perspective when the image was altered to include an unexpected object. For those who failed to notice the object, most were less likely to see a motorcycle.

Researchers claim that their data supports instituting changes in how drivers are taught. Including training programs for new drivers may help ensure that they are more aware of elements of their environment. Encouraging more conscious awareness could potentially prevent motorcycle accidents in California and across the country. However, there are also legal options for those who have been injured as a result of a driver's inability to detect an oncoming motorcycle resulting in an accident, including pursuing damages in a civil court.

Source: sciencedaily.com, "Why drivers may fail to see motorcycles in plain sight", Jan. 5, 2018

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