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Why a motorcycle 'comes out of nowhere'

One of the most common things that drivers say after they hit a motorcycle is that the bike "came out of nowhere." They then assume that the rider must have broken the speed limit and caused the accident. They can't understand how anything but speeding would have made them miss the bike.

The reality, though, is that the size difference plays a big role. Drivers are used to looking for other cars. A motorcycle may be 10% of the size of a truck. As such, the bike looks farther away than it actually is. It covers the distance faster than the driver expects not because the biker is speeding, but because the driver is simply wrong about how much distance there is.

Drivers also tend not to see motorcycles at all. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They are not used to looking for them and they simply don't notice them.
  • The size difference makes them easier to overlook or even ignore.
  • The driver is not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • The driver is not being cautious but is driving on autopilot.
  • The driver is distracted by something else, like a cellphone.
  • The driver is looking in the wrong direction.
  • The driver is texting and driving.
  • The driver is talking to other passengers, rather than closely looking at traffic.
  • The motorcycle is hidden between other vehicles that are much larger than it is.

As you can see, it's very dangerous to ride your motorbike around drivers who don't understand how to share the road. If you get hit and injured, you need to know what legal rights you have.

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