Monday, August 02, 2010


In the first chapter of the wonderful book The Invisible Gorilla, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, there are a couple of paragraphs on inattentional blindness to which cyclists and motorcyclists should pay close attention.

Analysis of over sixty accident reports involving cars and motorcycles showed that none of the car drivers had any experience riding a motorcycle themselves. It appears that those of us who ride vehicles that the majority of car drivers don't expect are more likely to notice similar unexpected events.

Wearing bright clothing should make a bike or motorcycle rider easier to notice. However, as Chabris and Simons point out in their book, looking at something doesn't guarantee that you will actually see it. Wearing conspicuous clothing "will increase your visibility, making it easier for people who are looking for you to see you. Such bright clothing doesn't guarantee that you will be noticed, though."

Just remember, hi-viz clothing is not an excuse for you to stop paying very close attention to the road and traffic around you. This has been a public service announcement from the Committee to not get Squashed Like a Bug.

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