Car drivers' skills and attitudes to motorcycle safety - a review

A review of the literature on car drivers' skills and attitudes towards motorcyclists was undertaken. Important factors in the perception of motorcyclists on the road include A-frame obscuration, movement and conspicuity. Wider objects on the road, such as cars are more rapidly perceived than narrow objects such as motorcycles (spatial frequency effect). Driver attitudes can indirectly influence whether drivers make all the appropriate visual checks and it is suggested that speed may be an important mediating variable. Going through a junction at speed reduces the time available for appropriate visual checks. Whether a driver realises that they are looking at a motorcycle is a more subtle question. In theory a driver could look directly at a motorcycle yet not perceive it (looked but failed to see error). Drivers' empathy with the motorcyclist's plight is considered important. It is suggested that drivers assess approaching speed on the basis of the size of the vehicle and that the narrower image of the motorcycle causes the driver to overestimate its time of arrival. For the full text of this articles see


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  • Accession Number: 01104720
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 1904763871
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2008 1:13PM