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Coming out of nowhere: Attention and motorcycle detection

Pammer, K, Sabadas, S

Motorcycles and Scooters

ARSC conference 2016

EXTENDED ABSTRACT: Looked-but-failed-to-see crashes describe situations in which drivers look directly at an unexpected object on the road yet fail to see it. Motorcycles are well represented in such crashes. Psychologically, these crashes could be explained by inattentional blindness; this occurs when observers fail to notice unexpected, though clearly visible objects when their attention is engaged elsewhere. Here, a driving-related IB task demonstrated that motorcycles were less likely to be detected than other vehicles such as taxis. Participants were also more likely to report expecting to fail to see a motorcycle. This has important implications for increasing motorcycle awareness in terms of familiarity, salience and expectations of road users.