Tag: driver

Automotive Journalist on Motorcycle Hurt by Left Turning Car

How to avoid getting killed by a car, especially a left turning car at a signalized intersection, is a frequent topic of discussion on motorcycle forums and blogs. For a long time smart motorcyclists have been looking for the cause and solution to this deadly dilemma, in the hopes of reducing or eliminating the threat. First-hand documented accounts of crashes are dissected with a forensic zeal. Possible causes and contributing factors are suggested. Motorcyclists always leave the discussion with an uneasiness and queasiness in the gut: Often the cause of the crash, a car driver, is beyond the rider’s control. In this case an automotive writer riding his motorcycle gets into a head-on crash with a left-turning young lady, who says the typical cop-out excuse: “I did not see him”.

The Dangerous “Right Turner”: Inattentional Blindness

Without a doubt the “right turner” is the most dangerous situation a motorcyclist faces while riding. Statistics show that more motorcyclists get hurt and killed at intersections by a right turning driver than any other cause. Why do car drivers exclaim “I did not see him/her” when the weather was clear and there were no other cars in the intersection? It is not just motorcyclists in danger, as bicyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles also bear the pain of inattentive drivers. Is it true that these drivers are so lacking in skill, so blatant in their disregard for their fellow humans that they are grasping for any plausible explanation, or is it something else? There is a theory that humans filters out objects that are deemed not dangerous, which leads to the subject of “inattentional blindness”. Maybe these lame explanations from drivers point to a visual impairment that is innate with all human beings.