Low motorcycle conspicuity is believed by many researchers, drivers, and motorcyclists to be causally involved in motorcycle collisions that involve another driver. Substantial improvements in motorcycle conspicuity have been made over the last four decades, but in spite of this, motorcycle collisions involving other vehicles are on the rise, specifically the type of collision where another driver violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way because they “did not see them”. Because the hypothesis that motorcycles lack conspicuity in traffic is so intuitively appealing and so pervasive, it has never been tested. This work provides an argument against the notion that right-of-way-violation collisions are due to poor motorcycle detection resulting from their low conspicuity and proposes an alternate hypothesis: These collisions seem related to failures in motion-perception which are partially caused by the motorcycle’s approach path in a left-of-lane position which, ironically, is partly intended to increase the motorcycle’s conspicuity.
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Thesis advisor: Spalek, Thomas
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