One minute, you’re enjoying an evening ride on your bike – the next, you’re on the ground in a heap. The car nearest you suddenly turned right into your path, and the driver swears you must have come out of nowhere.
How on earth did that driver overlook you? You know that they looked your way at least once before they made their turn. The answer may be as simple as “inattentional blindness.”
What’s inattentional blindness?
The human brain has what can best be described as an “automatic filter” on it, especially when asked to do complex tasks like driving. Your brain can’t pay attention to every possible hazard, so it subconsciously filters out anything that doesn’t register as a threat.
That’s basically how a driver can end up looking right at a bicyclist or a motorcyclist and not register what they’re seeing – and that’s what happened to you. (The phenomenon is common enough that it even has a name: Looked-but-failed-to-see crashes.)
Experts say that the infrequency of bikes on certain roads and their lower, narrower profile make them harder to spot, even for drivers who are looking for them. For drivers who aren’t, bikes may as well be invisible.
What can you do after a crash?
When bicyclists and cars collide, the cyclist never wins. Once the medical bills roll in and you calculate your lost wages, the financial damages you suffer may be extraordinary. However, that may pale in comparison to the damage to your body. If you’ve been injured by an inattentive driver, find out more about your legal options today.