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Why do people in motor vehicles cause bicycle crashes?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists share the road with motor vehicles. For the most part, they follow the same rules as motor vehicles. 

They have to travel in the same direction as the traffic and comply with all lights and signs. Additionally, cyclists may need to use hand gestures to indicate when they intend to stop or turn if they do not have illuminated systems on their bicycles. 

Unfortunately, even cyclists who go to great lengths to follow all of the traffic laws still wind up hurt and crashes caused by the drivers of motor vehicles. Why do drivers cause so many bicycle crashes?

Drivers might not register the presence of a bicycle

After a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the driver will often tell the police officer responding to the crash that they never even saw the cyclist. 

It doesn’t matter what time of day it was or how the cyclist had worn brightly colored or reflective clothing. It doesn’t matter if the cyclist is right in the middle of the street or riding along the other side of the intersection. The drive won’t see the cyclist because their brain doesn’t recognize it as information necessary for safety. 

Inattentional blindness is what causes this issue. Drivers may look right at cyclists, but if they don’t remember to actively think about bicycles, their brains may not register the presence of the bike right in front of them. The result could be that they make an unsafe maneuver and cause a crash. 

Understanding why drivers cause crashes with bicycles can help you stay a little bit safer out on the roads or pursue justice after a crash. 

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