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Why some drivers fail to see motorcyclists in plain sight

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents

As someone who rides a motorcycle in Washington, you have to be hyper-aware of what is going on around you. You have no control over the actions of other drivers, and many drivers involved in fatal and nonfatal motorcycle crashes claim they never saw the bikes or the people riding them in the first place.

Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers involved in motorcycle wrecks say they never saw the bikes more than 40% of the time.

What drivers say prevents them from seeing motorcyclists

Many drivers who collide with motorcycles say they did not see the motorcyclist because he or she had drifted into their vehicles’ blind spots. Other factors, such as sun glare, rain, fog, construction equipment and heavy traffic, also make it harder for vehicles to see motorcycles in the roadway. Curvy roads may prove especially hazardous for motorcyclists, as bends in the road might conceal them from the view of motorists.

What you might do as a cyclist to stay safe

Whenever you encounter traffic or other vehicles, assume they do not see you and drive accordingly. Because of your bike’s narrow profile, the chances of you winding up in drivers’ blind spots is high, so exercise extreme caution anytime you have to drive in close proximity to passenger vehicles. Many motorcyclists also weave in and out of traffic lanes to lessen the chances of cars and trucks not seeing and then colliding with them.

Because you have limited control over whether other drivers see you on your motorcycle, make sure to always wear a helmet when you ride, regardless of whether laws require you to do so.