While riding through Georgia, motorcyclists may have several close calls with cars. Riders do everything they can to make themselves visible, but still, drivers seem to look past them. Why is that?

Road & Track examines how drivers unintentionally turn a blind eye on motorcyclists. Understanding what goes on in a motorist’s mind helps motorcycle riders stay safe.

How the eyes work

The first thing to bear in mind is that the human eye has several disadvantages when it comes to making sense of the images it receives. The brain does the best it can when deciphering and making up for the lack of information received from the eyes. The brain can fail to process movements faster than the human eye, movements such as speeding motorcycles.

Overloading the eyes and the brain

When driving in a familiar area, the brain tends to use placeholders rather than fully process every stream of visual stimuli flowing in through the eyes. Doing this frees up mental resources the brain can use for other functions. What that means when people get behind the wheel is that their brains may simply gloss over a motorcyclist in plain view, because it does not match the memory imprint.

Low on the list of priorities

According to ScienceDaily, the results of a study demonstrated that driver’s brains placed a lower overall priority on motorcycles when compared to vehicles on four wheels. Drivers who make a conscious effort to look for motorcycles, pedestrians and the like in addition to other automobiles may have an easier time avoiding accidents with motorcycles.

It may prove helpful to retrain experienced drivers and better train new drivers to keep their eyes (and minds) peeled for motorcyclists. Two-wheeled vehicles have just as much of a right to the road as four-wheeled (or more) vehicles.