You might think that your eyes take a steady video to analyse what’s going on. In fact, your brain processes action as a series of still shots. Your brain is also programmed to identify familiar objects and possible disregard unfamiliar items.
There is an acronym known as SMIDSY or Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You. Around 50% of motorcycle collisions are caused by a right of way infraction by another vehicle (this % is an approximation but varies by jurisdiction and urban vs rural locations).
So how does a person turn left in front of an oncoming motorcycle when you swear they were looking right at you. 1) Their brain may not be programmed to recognize motorcycles. If a motorcycle is not in their data bank they will look right through you, you are essentially invisible. 2) In the process of quickly scanning right and quickly scanning left the motorcycle and rider fell between the cracks or the frames of photos being processed. again you are invisible.
So, what can a rider do to be identified by the eyes of another driver/rider? 1) Wear high visability clothing. 2) Create lateral movement that the eyes will notice by gently swerving back and forth approaching a vulnerable area. It’s sort of a visual “hey look at me” statement. 3) You can pulse your hi-beams (there is some danger in the other vehicle thinking you are flashing them to go).
Understanding how you are seen will minimize your risks on the road and make you a safer rider.