Oregon motorcyclists understand that the roads are often a dangerous place. Issues like driver distractions increase the risk you may face. But some distracted driving issues are a bigger deal than others in the eyes of the media. This means there is uneven coverage about the risks drivers face.
Today, we will look at the under-discussed phenomenon known as intentional blindness. It puts many motorcyclists at risk every day. But what is it and why is it so risky?
How inattentional blindness affects drivers
The American Psychological Association discusses the wonder of inattentional blindness. What is it? In short, it is an event that occurs when you focus on one thing too intently. In hyper-focusing on this thing, you become “blind” to other things in your surroundings.
New drivers often suffer from inattentional blindness. There is too much for them to focus on at once. They spend their time focusing on their speedometer. They monitor oncoming traffic in a constant and rigorous way. They always check their rear-view mirror for traffic. But in paying these things so much mind, they miss obvious problems on the road. For example, they may hit animals they do not see. They may run stop signs or red lights.
Why motorcyclists are impacted by inattentional blindness
Motorcyclists suffer the brunt of inattentional blindness. They are already hard to spot. Drivers tend to “look over” motorcyclists when scanning the road. This is because they often pay attention to other vehicles their size or larger. When experiencing inattentional blindness, they will overlook motorcyclists. This increases the motorcyclist’s chance of a car hitting them.
Inattentional blindness is a threat to drivers everywhere but especially motorcyclists. As a motorcyclist, you are more vulnerable in an accident because a motorcycle doesn’t offer the same protections as a passenger vehicle. Regardless, other motorists are responsible for not only their safety but the welfare of others. Inattentional blindness is still no excuse for missing motorcyclists.