Why size matters when it comes to road safety

It should not come as a surprise to any Florida motorist that motorcycles can more a little more difficult to see on the road than a truck or car. They are smaller, have a single headlight and can easily be obscured by other objects on the road.

However, this does not mean that they can be ignored by other drivers. Motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as any other motorist. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to appreciate this and end up causing a devastating accident with someone on a motorcycle. While this can often be linked to negligence or recklessness behind the wheel, there are studies that suggest our brains may also have some trouble when it comes to seeing motorcyclists.

According to psychological studies conducted, researchers have found that our brains are less accurate when it comes to judging the speed and distance of smaller objects versus larger objects. Research indicates that our brains can misinterpret these smaller objects as being farther away.

What this means is that an oncoming motorcycle may seem like it is farther away than it actually is. Drivers may be more inclined to, for example, make a left turn in front of motorcycles because they think they have more time than if it were a larger vehicle traveling at the same speed and at the same distance.

This may sound like it gives drivers permission to make this kind of poor judgment behind the wheel, but it does not. Taking risks and making hasty decisions behind the wheel is something that can and should always be avoided.

All it takes is a few extra seconds to slow down, assess the situation and make a safe choice. In terms of sharing the road with a motorcycle, this means people should be giving them the appropriate time and space to be safe and not cutting it so closely that a person’s life is endangered. Dangerous driving decisions can and often to do lead to accidents; when a motorcyclist is involved, these accidents can be catastrophic.