Proof At Last:Why Car Drivers Fail To See Bikes
- 06-22-2006, 06:05 AM
Proof At Last:Why Car Drivers Fail To See Bikes
Sourced from Motorcycle News 21/06/2006, Written by Tom Rayner
THE PROOF THAT CAR DRIVERS DON'T SEE BIKES
MCN has teamed up with leading UK scientists in a world-first investigation to finally prove that car drivers can't see bikers. Professor Geoff Underwood from Nottingham University has received EU funding to carry out groundbreaking tests to find out why car drivers: "look, but fail to see motorcyclists".
Armed with a state-of-the-art EyeMark eye-tracker camera and a series of photos, provided by MCN, Professor Underwood's team is set to test car drivers in laboratory conditions to find out exactly what they do and don't see.
Professor Underwood said: "I want to cut the number of SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You) type accidents. I want to solve the phenomenon of the 'looked but failed to see' accident."
To do so he will show the participants a series of photographs of various road traffic scenarios and use the EyeMark camera to track their pupil movement.
The sophisticated technology can tell the Professor exactly when and where the car drivers are looking. In every image is a motorcyclist, in various levels of prominence. The test will attempt to discover when a rider is most visible.
The results will discover what a driver looks at first and why. For example, if bright colours attract the attention or if the drivers can spot potential hazards.
HOW CAN A CAR DRIVER LOOK AT YOU BUT NOT SEE YOU?
Professor Underwood has dedicated his professional career in cognitive psychology with the relationship between visual attention and skill.
He explained to MCN how a car driver waiting at a junction could look straight at an approaching biker and still fail to see them, thus causing an accident.
"The easiest way to explain this phenomenon is with the gorilla experiment," said Underwood.
"A group of American students shot a film which asked the viewer to count the number of catches a group of basketball players in white tops made. Another group in black tops were also passing the ball to one another at the same time.
"You are so busy trying to watch the white team that you completely miss the fact that a man in a gorilla suit walks into the middle of the screen and waves at you. It's only when you watch the film for a second time and are told to look for a gorilla that you see it - you won't believe you missed it first time because it's so obvious.
"The theory is the same for car drivers - they sit at a junction looking left and right for oncoming cars, vans and lorries. Because they're not expecting to see a motorcyclist then they don't see a motorcyclist.
"they have a hypothesis of what they think is going to happen in the world and stick to it.
"it's for exactly this reason that I think the DfT's 'Think Bike' signs at the road side will focus the concentration of car drivers to consider motorcyclists."
If you want to see how the experiment works then try it on your friends and colleagues. View it at: Movie 15
- 06-22-2006, 09:49 AM
- 06-22-2006, 02:41 PM
06-23-2006, 08:09 PM
06-23-2006, 08:12 PM
Just click the link at the end of the article, I checked it out and it was really obvious so I guess you'd want to try it out on someone who doesn't know to look for a gorilla...Originally Posted by Mrs. Gimpy!
06-23-2006, 08:19 PM
oops i didnt see the vid link....Originally Posted by Ziricote
wtf.....who CANT see the gorilla the first time thought.....its as if im in the mall and an E.T guy walked by me....wow.....
06-24-2006, 10:50 AM
I figured as much. Same reason they fail to see pedestrians. Im always super nervous when I have to cross the street to get to my gym that right by my work. Ive been hit allready once at that same intersection. But most of the time its just them looking straight through me and stepping on the gas as I jump/run out of the way when its my right of way. They sure as hell see me when im yelling at them, and always get anrgy at me and not even thinking that they could of killed me.
I guess being yelled at is a bigger insult then being ran down...
06-24-2006, 11:02 AM
Maybe it is just because they are so much smaller than a car
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06-24-2006, 11:35 AM
Recent work in cognition does go along these lines. We tend to think of our minds as cameras merely recording what is around us but many studies show that our minds don't work that way. We actually walk around with a "constructed" view of the world predicated upon our expectations of what will be there - which may deviate in significant ways from the what is actually there. Lots of practical and philosophical questions arise from this.
Last edited by yeahright; 06-24-2006 at 12:43 PM.
06-24-2006, 12:33 PM
omg how can anyone not see that freekin gorilla, i mean obviously i knew about it before i seen the vid but come on now..
well to do my own test i put that link of the vid on my away message. and said "count how many times the kids in the white shirts only throw the ball to eachother, if u cant count this you will kill a motorcycalist". i will know if they saw it by the responses i get. well see because honestly i dont see how the funk anyone cant see that thing
06-24-2006, 12:37 PM
This post reminded me of a experiment I did for my Psychology class last semester. I had a person in my group follow fellow students in the parking lot after classes. They always kept like a 10 foot distance between the subject and themselves. Meanwhile in the adjacent parking aisle, we had a person dressed in a gorilla suit walking parallel with the subject student. He would jump up and down and wave and dance around, and in our experiment 89 out of 100 people said they never saw the man in the gorilla suit. They said were too concerned with the person 10 feet behind them.
Overall it was a fun experiment, and kinda shows how people can be oblivious to something so obvious, such as a man in a gorilla suit.
06-24-2006, 12:41 PM
06-24-2006, 12:51 PM
Could also be why when Iím walking with friends and I say "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?" and they honestly didnít and it was something odd like someone getting smacked by the mirror on the side of a bus. I get called "The perceptive bas****" and my usual reply is "bah Iím just paranoid so I always pay attention to my surroundings"Originally Posted by phillyb
06-24-2006, 02:18 PM
I think this is just the icing on the cake, it's been clear to me that people just don't give the road their full attention and instead look for easy to spot vehicles.
In the original article there were pictures of where a car driver was looking, indicated by a red circle varying in size depending on how long they looked at that paticular spot. Y'know what that paticular person looked at first and for for the longest? The windscreen of a bright red 4x4, not really surprising tbh, the last thing they looked at was bright yellow motorbike at the junction.
06-26-2006, 09:47 AM
mmmm...interesting...i thought it was just because they often ride in your blindspot but i'm certain its not on purpose
if you look in your mirror its easier to see a car, its bigger
the blind spot increases with a smaller vehicle
i want a bike but just little scared of becoming a statistic
of course i would have to get a fatboy
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