Why we're invisible to drivers


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Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:08 pm



A really good article on the biology of our eyes and brain, and why drivers don't see bikes on the road:

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cultur ... -the-road/

A very telling paragraph from this article:
Alright. Let's take a typical case. A driver is preparing to turn left from a side road onto a main road. There's a GSXR-1000 flying down that main road because what's the point of having something that fast if you don't wind it out, right? So our driver looks left and doesn't see the Gixxer because it's pretty far away. He looks right. Now he looks left again. The bike is much closer, almost on him, but because he didn't see it last time—and this is important—his brain simply discards the Gixxer as a result of his brain not expecting to see it. His brain is already busy doing this discarding for everything from his blind spot to various floaters in his vision to his own eyelashes. What's the harm in adding just one more object?



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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:29 pm

I've read that before.

Unless a target is moving sideways across your vision, it just disappears.

That is the reason that I have a swimming pool noodle lashed to my trunk, hanging to the left. That flopping that it does, gets people's attention.

and, as I approach intersections, I weave from lane edge to lane edge to create the widest horizontal weave possible... I have seen the effects of this over and over, nearly every time that I come to a stop.

When I am going to have to stop behind another vehicle, I do NOT just pull up behind them and stop. I accentuate that weave further back than normal, and then I stop about 3 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of me, and angled to the left edge, or the Best Escape route..... and keep the bike in 1st gear, clutched and idle up a bit. Keeping an eye on the guy behind me, I keep toggling the hand brake lever to restart the middle flasher over the trunk lid.... until that vehicle comes to a stop.

I've already spent 8 of my 9 lives, don't want to try again.


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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by minimac » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:32 am

SMIDSY -sorry mate,I didn't see you.
https://www.roadsafety.mccofnsw.org.au/a/84.html

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by khspe2 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:50 am

Precisely why I believe that the most effective safety device for the described scenario is a headlight modulator. Steady state headlights get lost that far away. There’s a reason that they are used on locomotives.
I know some people find it annoying. I’ll tell them that it served it’s purpose if they needed to do complain to me.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by AZgl1800 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:45 pm

khspe2 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:50 am
Precisely why I believe that the most effective safety device for the described scenario is a headlight modulator. Steady state headlights get lost that far away. There’s a reason that they are used on locomotives.
I know some people find it annoying. I’ll tell them that it served it’s purpose if they needed to do complain to me.
Those actually are mechanical and hinged on bearing assemblies.
Never any worry of burning out that expensive headlight.

but, the point is valid, headlight modulators save lives.

My property abuts the UPRR tracks for over 600 feet.
My driveway is a mere 250 feet from the RR crossing.
I know the semaphores work, because I see them everytime I hear a RR horn....

Still though, I do NOT trust those signals to tell me a train is there, I look both ways, before I cross those RR tracks .

The crossing at my house is one of the worst I have ever seen, it is above the county road by about 4 feet. And the US-169 highway which parallels it, is almost 10 feet lower down yet.

when parked on that crossing, waiting for a train to pass, drivers can see under the train cars, and all of the traffic that is oncoming for a mile !!!
that is a severe rake of a ramp.
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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by Andy27012 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:12 am

khspe2 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:50 am
Precisely why I believe that the most effective safety device for the described scenario is a headlight modulator. Steady state headlights get lost that far away. There’s a reason that they are used on locomotives.
I know some people find it annoying. I’ll tell them that it served it’s purpose if they needed to do complain to me.
I know of a rider with a modulator who was next to a semi. The driver of the semi thought he was signaling him that it was ok to come over and came over on top of him. Not certain what the solution is but this is why i will never equip my bike with one.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by Andy Cote » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:29 am

I have seen a small number of folks report that another driver said "I thought you were signaling okay."

IMHO these other drivers did not see you (as described above) and only recognized their mistake after the fact, using the modulator as an excuse. If one actually looks at a correctly installed modulator they will never mistake it for some one manually flashing their own high beams. Further each driver is responsible for themselves and if there isn't enough room, regardless of what the other guy waves or signals at them, is supposed to be smart enough to not cut traffic. Be honest, we have all done a bonehead move at least once, majority do not result in collisions. Afterwards we feel it in the stomach knowing how close we just came.

Be defensive, be calm and carry on.
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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by saganaga » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:10 pm

Vision is such a weird thing. If you want to know more, the terms to look up are "foveal vision" and "saccadic masking".

Interestingly, the foveal vision may be part of the reason why identification of suspects in crimes can be so bad. Crimes can frequently have items that demand attention (such as a gun), and by focusing on that, witnesses may not adequately look at the face of the criminal committing a crime. (There's other factors as well.)

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by C-dub » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:44 pm

The problem I have with people thinking another driver was giving them the "okay" to move over because of a modulated light is that flashing the high beams doesn't mean that. Turning the lights off and on tells someone that it is okay to move back over in front of you. For a semi truck, for example. A motorcycle cannot do this because we cannot turn or lights off unless someone has rigged theirs up to do that.

Flashing the high beams has traditionally meant for the slower person ahead to move to the right out of the fast lane or for someone in oncoming traffic to dim their high beams.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:04 pm

I thought of putting on on my bike...
Untill I talked to a "motor man" who rode his bike on duty for several years.
His honest opinion was that a modulator can be confused with the "go ahead" signal and that many cagers here have been using that flashing headlight to direct traffic (against the law by the way). He just opted to flash his high beams when needed to get there attention.
With this in mind,I rigged up a finger momentary contact switch tied to the high beam relay..
When I do see a possible problem,a few taps of my finger flashes the high beams.
It does get there attention.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by C-dub » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:48 pm

virgilmobile wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:04 pm
I thought of putting on on my bike...
Untill I talked to a "motor man" who rode his bike on duty for several years.
His honest opinion was that a modulator can be confused with the "go ahead" signal and that many cagers here have been using that flashing headlight to direct traffic (against the law by the way). He just opted to flash his high beams when needed to get there attention.
With this in mind,I rigged up a finger momentary contact switch tied to the high beam relay..
When I do see a possible problem,a few taps of my finger flashes the high beams.
It does get there attention.
A button that could create a short duration strobe like that would be awesome. Especially when used with LED headlights.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:38 pm

Yup.I have led driving lights attached to the thumb switch too.


This is my prototype home made plastic printed 2 switch housing..Thumb and finger operated.No need to move your hand from the grip.




At just one of the designs I have for "under the grip" switch mounts.
Found out the mount I designed fits all gl1500's (under mounting tabs)and even some gl1800's.
I just never trying to market them.Each one takes 8 hours on the printer.
Because of its design,injection molding wouldn't work..just too many layers.



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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:38 pm

It's what I have my Bluetooth controller buttons mounted on as well. :)

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:05 pm

I just knew that mountimg spot would come in handy for "add ons".
Easy to reach and still keep a hand on the grip.
Maybe I'll redesign just the mount so a variety of things can be attached

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by heli_madken » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:33 am

I have Denali LED spotlights and their CanSmart controller on my BMW R1250RT. When you pull the high beam flash switch three times in quick succession it modulates the spots in a pattern over about 5 seconds.

It is the most effective light system I have ever had as it draws attention straight away even when the vehicle isnt necessarily in line of site, off to the side for instance.

As the LED's have a blueish hint to them I believe in some cases cage drivers think you are emergency services. Sometimes they over react significantly, great for dealing with middle or offside lane hoggers who instantly dart out of the way but I guess in some respects this could be dangerous.

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Re: Why we're invisible to drivers

Post by Andy Cote » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:21 pm

I have been watching a show called Brain Games on NETFLIX. It has some information regarding how we draw conclusions and make decisions.


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