California Motorcycle Training
We’re going to answer 2 questions in this article, hoping to convey a philosophy about staying safe when you’re on the road.
Question One: What is the most common type of motorcycle vs. car accident?
Answer: The single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when cars are making left-hand turns. These collisions account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car. Other types are
- Unsafe Lane Changes by Cars
- Sudden Stops by Cars
- Cars and Trucks Running into the Rear of a Motorcycle
Question Two: What is the most common reason for the above types of accidents?
Answer: The single most common reason given by drivers is “I didn’t see the motorcycle.”
Do these drivers have vision problems? Are they careless? Are they distracted? Are they impaired? It could be any or all of these, but a very interesting article in Road and Track magazine says:
The first thing to understand is that our eyes don’t see very much. We tend to think of eyes as cameras, but in reality they are biological devices with considerable limitations. If you could see a raw feed of the image sent to your brain by your eye at any given time, you’d be horrified. It’s mostly blurry, it has a blind spot near the middle, and it’s upside down.
Luckily for us, our eyes are constantly in motion, even when we think we are looking straight ahead. They send several pictures every second to the brain, which then assembles the best and sharpest parts from each picture into a mental image. That’s what we see. When you read the print on this page or screen, your eyes are flicking all over that page or screen, assembling a complete picture that you can then read.
Think of an old-school radar screen. There’s a bright green line that tells you what the radar is seeing at that very moment, and it sweeps in a circle, continually refreshing the screen. Compared with the human eye, the line is the small area it can focus and see at any given time, and the whole screen is the image we have in our minds.
Many motorcyclists think they can stay safe by avoiding the other driver’s “blind spots” and that is a common philosophy, but now that we understand the way the human eye works, combined with the issues of distraction, carelessness, and drunk drivers, isn’t it better to assume everything is the other driver’s blind spot? Isn’t it better to assume you are invisible to every driver?
Rather than being surprised when a driver makes a totally bone-headed move, isn’t it better to expect it? To be prepared for it? Drive like you’re invisible because in reality, you are. We will always promote the “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaigns and we hope they make a difference but all motorcyclists must take the initiative to ride safe.
California Motorcycle Training: It’s a good idea for all motorcyclists to brush up their riding skills, and our classes are custom-designed for all experience levels. The tools we teach will stay with you as you keep the shiny side up!
Call us at 858 412 RIDE (7433) to ask about dates and times.