Klest Injury Law Firm
Fighting For The Injured For More Than 30 Years A Chicago Law Firm
Injured? No office visit necessary. Call Now!
Free Case Consultations

Are our brains to blame for motorcycle accidents?

The scenes of an accident involving a car and a motorcycle in Chicago can be disturbingly similar. Often, the car has some damage and the driver may be a bit shaken, but the motorcyclist has typically taken the majority of the impact and the rider and bike have often suffered irreparable damage. Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the roads as other motorists, but sadly, they are often the ones who are hurt the most in a motorcycle accident.

A recent column in The Huffington Post discusses this frighteningly common occurrence. The fact that car drivers so often misjudge a bikers speed and distance seems to be a recurring statement after an accident. Drivers often say they thought the biker was further away or was traveling slower when they decided to pull out in front of a motorcycle. Could there be some science behind this story?

According to the research presented in the column, the answer could be yes. People may be misjudging the speed and distance of a motorcycle simply because it is smaller than a car. Reportedly, our brains take two kinds of information into account when we look at something approaching us. One piece of information comes from an objective calculation based on the size and rate of expansion of the object. The other piece of information is more commonly used, but it comes in the form of a so-called mental shortcut. By quickly taking into account visual cues, a brain often decides that a bigger object is closer. Therefore, we may misjudge the distance of a smaller motorcycle.

Psychological scientists are putting this theory to the test to figure out why so many people may be relying on the second piece of information which can be less reliable. This could be the reason that so many drivers pull out in front a motorcycle without having the proper space and time to do so.

This type of research can be very interesting. It does not, however, relieve drivers of their responsibility to operate their vehicles safely around motorcycles. Instead of rushing out in front of a biker, driver should be taking a few extra seconds to properly acknowledge the other vehicle and proceed safely. Those few seconds can make the difference between saving a biker's life and potentially losing one.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Crash! Collisions in the Mind's Eye," Wray Herbert, Nov. 28, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

No Nonsense Approach - A Client Testimonial

"Attorney Klest is a very knowledgeable attorney with a no nonsense approach derived from his growing up in the City Of Chicago and working his way thru college, law school and starting his own practice.

I am VERY pleased with how he handled my case and also praise his support staff as well.”

View More Testimonials

Let’s Get Started Today

Call 312-380-5467 or fill out our short E-mail form for a FREE case consultation where we'll review your case details and determine the best course of action to take.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Free Consultation

Free Guide

Free Accident Guide Book

Illinois Injury Law: A Reference Guide for Accident Victims is a free book designed to help accident victims and Booktheir families navigate the legal process.

More on our FREE guide

Record Verdict

Klest Wins $28 Million Abuse Verdict

The Klest Law Firm announced a milestone victory for sexual abuse victims when they received a $28,000,000 verdict in the matter of Snyder v. Kenny.

More on this record case

Schaumburg Office
1834 Walden Office Square
Suite 500
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Toll Free: 866-264-7639
Phone: 847-380-3309
Fax: 847-969-9514
Schaumburg Law Office Map

Chicago Office
11 W. Illinois St.
4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

Phone: 312-380-5467
Chicago Law Office Map

Klest Injury Law Firm

Contact us for a FREE consultation:

Toll Free: 866-264-7639