Pennsylvania motorcycling enthusiasts may find interesting one psychologist’s findings that show drivers turning into the path of a motorcycle or smashing into it during a left turn may be due more to judgment errors in the human brain than to carelessness or bad driving. The Texas psychologist’s new study was relevant to the nearly continual stream of news reports about auto accidents killing motorcyclists when the drivers of cars misjudge the bikers’ distance. The main finding of the research was that smaller and closer objects can appear farther away than do larger objects that are actually more distant.
The psychologist first thought about these concepts because of an early interest in softball. This led to her investigation of how the human brain handles perception of objects; their motion and size; and how long it estimates it would take an object to make an impact with another object. Her finding that the size of an object affects its perceived distance may be the reason automobile drivers so often miscalculate a motorcycle’s distance and speed.
This inability to judge size and distance accurately could lead auto drivers to misjudge when a motorcycle would be arriving at an intersection, and this could be a cause of the frequency of car-motorcycle crashes during turns. The psychologist said she hoped that the Department of Transportation would be interested in creating a driver-education program to cut down on these types of accidents.
An auto accident in Pennsylvania can leave drivers with pain and suffering, medical expenses and other damages. An attorney who knows car accident litigation may be able to help those hurt by a distracted driver or one who’s texting and driving.
Source: Claims Journal, “Vehicle/Motorcycle Accident Link to Brain Miscalculation: Study“, September 10, 2013