You might think that they take a steady video of to analyse what’s going on. In fact, your brain processes
action as a series of still shots. Your brain is also programmed to identify familiar objects and possible
disregard unfamiliar items.
There is an acronym known as SMIDSY or Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You. For this purpose we could call this
SM(EYE)DSY. Around 50% of motorcycle collisions are caused by a right of way infraction by another
vehicle (this % is an approximation but varies by jurisdiction and urban vs rural locations). BTW as a
motorcyclist rider error is still responsible for the other 50% so go back and read EYES (Part 1).
So how does a person turn left in front of an oncoming motorcycle when you swear, they were looking
right at you. 1) Their brain may not be programmed to recognize motorcycles, if they’re not in the data
bank they will look right through you. 2) In the process of quickly scanning right and quickly scanning left
the motorcycle and rider fell between the cracks or the frames of photos being processed.
So, what can a rider do to be identified by the eyes of another driver/rider? 1) Wear hi-vis clothing. 2)
Gently swerve back and forth approaching a vulnerable area, it’s sort of a visual “hey look at me”
statement. 3) You can pulse your hi-beams but there is some danger in the other vehicle thinking you
are flashing them to go.
Understanding how you are seen will minimize your risks on the road and make you a safer rider.