DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 7:32 am Thread Starter
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Thumbs up DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Most of us with any experience know that making "EYE CONTACT" with the driver of another vehicle at an intersection is no guarantee that we've been seen. We've all had the experience that after making eye contact the other vehicle pulls out into our path and cuts of or,or worse. So here's a very interesting active presentation from the MSF that illustrates why this happens.

They call it MOTION INDUCED BLINDNESS

http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html

Lynn Keen
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post #2 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 7:48 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

I watch the tires and car, not the driver.

Too many good looking girls out there, I'm the one who'd be blind at that point

some guy in a huge SUV on the PCH in Huntington Beach just about killed me when he got a bad case of "beauty induced blindness" LOL....the sidewalks were loaded that day, I could hardly see myself!!
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post #3 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 10:01 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Actually, a variation of something discussed in my book...

"This recognition process (or lack of recognition) was identified as a combination of several of the gestalt principles (Soegaard, 2010). A term of German origin, it means "unified whole". Gestalt principles refers to theories of visual perception developed by psychologists in the 1920s. These theories apply certain principles in an attempt to describe how people organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes. Precisely defined, a gestalt system is: a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by the summation of its parts (Soegaard, 2010).

In other words, as your motorcycle travels in the lane, you will blend in with your surroundings because you just don’t stand out. This is why you get the “I just didn’t see you” comment.

The main gestalt principles that apply to vehicles on the highway are:
• Similarity
• Continuation
• Proximity

Similarity occurs when objects look similar to one another. People often perceive them as a group or a familiar pattern. Continuation occurs when the eye is compelled to move through one object and continue to another object. Proximity occurs when elements are placed close together. They tend to be perceived as a group and the group is then dealt with as a whole."

Eye contact is one step that you can use to stay safe on the road. But relying on eye contact to keep you totally safe in traffic is a very bad practice. MSF is right about "motion blindness", but in class, I don't think they address it enough. My $.02...

Great site Lynn... Keep 'em coming...

Uncle Mark

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post #4 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 10:11 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Mark, where can we get your book?
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post #5 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 10:33 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Link at the bottom of the window... or clicky

Peeps are trying to talk me out of being involved with MSF... But damn, I like the concept. I am about to take the leap. Talk me out of it... or into it...

Uncle Mark

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post #6 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 11:01 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

I don't know if I go along with all this stuff - "eye contact", "motion induced blindness". I've heard of many cases where an ordinary motorcyclist would get cut off, regardless of the level of conspicuity in his dress, but the cop on a motorcycle is respected (and observed, and avoided) by all.
I'm not a psychologist, but I've often thought that how motorcyclists are treated on the road depends on whether the car driver is driving with his conscious, or his subconscious mind. When the conscious mind is driving, almost everything is observed and acted upon properly. But when the subconscious mind is driving (all too often), almost everything is still observed, but the actions to be taken depend on only one thing: is he a threat to me, or not? This attitude is probably rooted in our cave man days.
If you're driving a huge dump truck or 18-wheeler, the answer "threat" comes up in the subconscious mind and the car driver doesn't cut you off. On a motorcycle, the answer is "no threat", and you'd better watch out. But if you're a motorcycle cop, the answer once again is "threat" and the chance of getting cut off is greatly reduced.
Wearing conspicuous clothing only helps when the car driver is using his conscious mind. When he's driving with the subconscious mind, he still sees you, but may cut you off anyway. Run all the extra lights and yellow jackets that you want; if the car driver is driving subconsciously, none of it may help. It's up to you, the motorcyclist, to observe and take the necessary actions to avoid the accident.
If the accident happens, it's your fault, Mr. Motorcyclist. Doesn't matter if the car driver is cited for failure to yield the right of way - the accident is still the motorcyclist's fault. The "I didn't see him" needs to be changed to "I saw him, but he was so small and non-threatening, so I cut him off anyway". Yeah, right.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #7 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 11:53 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

My glow in the dark jacket, a generous amount of highly reflective material on the bike and an array of forward facing lights help quite a bit. The 139db air-horns act like a sharp wrap on the knuckle of the drivers that get too close or encroach my lane.

I too make eye contact, but I also watch the front wheels of cars, as the car goes where the wheels are pointed.
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post #8 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 12:02 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleMark
Peeps are trying to talk me out of being involved with MSF... But damn, I like the concept. I am about to take the leap. Talk me out of it... or into it...
Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the United States and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals.

Or they are your people friends.

John Baker

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post #9 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 1:17 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

A lot of good things written.

Bottom line is that if you want to keep riding, you better be defensive, ride in a uniform or not become a victim. No points for being dead right!

I think that a big part of the visibility problem / concern on a motorcycle is not that the other motorist doesn’t see the motorcycle; it’s that he doesn’t recognize it and take action in time, many times.

What I mean by this is that the eye physically “sees” the motorcycle, the picture IS on the brain. His brain just doesn’t recognize it in time to take action either way. Action being to not pull out or over or action to stop. All of the lights in the world won’t make much of a difference.

It is the same as someone in a car driving into a train. “How can that happen?” The train is so big and so loud!

The motorist brain did “see” the train. It just wasn’t recognized in time to take action. It was not expected so “it was not there.”

My point is that no matter how many lights you add to your bike, YOU have to be the one to be ready to take the action. Don’t expect the other motorist to avoid you or stop for your lights, horn or clothing (unless it says police (POLITE).

Dano
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post #10 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 1:22 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

From my commuting experience here in the Tampa Bay area; a large number of those who encroach my lane or turn into my path, aren't looking at all.
They may glance casually, but they are not looking.
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post #11 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 1:30 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker15
Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the United States and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals.

Or they are your people friends.
Aw crap John, ya got me...

Should said something about Easter... THEN it would have made sense.



I'm with Dave here... I am well lit from the front and from the angles facing forward. Again, my book talks about this:

"The Lighting Stop Sign Configuration
Motorcycles coming off the showroom floor must have a headlight, forward- and rear-facing turn indicators, and a brake light. That’s it—the bare minimum. Note that the turn indicators do not have to be running lights. Even if you equip your motorcycle with halogen or xenon headlights, they may not be enough light to help a driver who is scanning the oncoming lane to single you and your motorcycle out of the generic mess of traffic. And trust me: some manufacturers have no problem selling a bike that just meets federal or state guidelines. So it’s up to you to make your motorcycle stand out as more than just a functional unit. Remember, lighting that works well from the ground up can get you noticed by other drivers and prevent an accident."

Through research, I found that the number of "accidents" where vehicles turn into or in front of motorcycles that are well lit up, coupled with reflective "anything" is way way way less than a similarly dressed "off-the-showroom-floor" model of motorcycle.

In a nutshell, Dan and Bob are correct. "YOU have to be the one to be ready to take the action." However, when riding a motorcycle, stacking the deck in a game of chance against the grim reaper isn't cheating...

One other thing... From the info I gathered, the number of Police officers involved in accidents (much like the ones we are talking about) is about the same for those whose bikes are well lit up...

just sayin'...

Uncle Mark

BMW '06' 1200LT "Wild Blue"
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post #12 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 4:23 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleMark
Link at the bottom of the window... or clicky

Peeps are trying to talk me out of being involved with MSF... But damn, I like the concept. I am about to take the leap. Talk me out of it... or into it...
Curious as to why people are trying to talk you out of being involved? Wendy Moon's criticism? I have been a rider coach for the last four years, and think MSF does a pretty good job of trying to train beginning motorcyclist, with the time we have. It is not perfect, and just a start, but I think we do give people a good foundation. If you have questions, just ask.

Dale

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post #13 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 5:41 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
(unless it says police (POLITE).
It does indeed help - unless you get some cranky old fart that realized he'd been duped, then calls the cops to report that someone is imitating a real police occifer.

I can't IMAGINE who that happened to - and while the offender did have a nice friendly chat with the TWO officers that stopped him with no repercussions, he could have done without the one hour technical inspection that kept him from attending a Christmas party and serious bitching out he got from the wife at the same time.

It REALLY helps to keep tail gaters at bay, but I don't recommend them on the front anymore.

My absolute #1 concern is getting hammered from the rear. The front I can *somewhat* control but the rear....

Herewith for free use - but if you get to talk to the judge it ain't MY problem!



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post #14 of 16 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 5:43 pm
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleMark
... Through research, I found that the number of "accidents" where vehicles turn into or in front of motorcycles that are well lit up, coupled with reflective "anything" is way way way less than a similarly dressed "off-the-showroom-floor" model of motorcycle.

...

One other thing... From the info I gathered, the number of Police officers involved in accidents (much like the ones we are talking about) is about the same for those whose bikes are well lit up...
Those are encouraging points. For those who choose to go with extra conspicuity (lights and gear), it seems worth it. Any advantage we can get is a good thing.

Howard Schisler
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post #15 of 16 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 7:46 am Thread Starter
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleMark
Link at the bottom of the window... or clicky

Peeps are trying to talk me out of being involved with MSF... But damn, I like the concept. I am about to take the leap. Talk me out of it... or into it...
Hey Mark,
Not sure why anyone would try to talk you out of becoming involved with MSF. I've been an Instructor, oops, sorry, I mean RiderCoach, for more than 13 years and a Sidecar/Trike instructor (S/TEP) for 4+ years here in Florida. While neither of those two programs are perfect, in my opinion they do a very good job of both preparing a novice for carefully venturing into the real world as well as improving the technique of those who have been riding for some time. Here in Florida the only way anyone can earn a motorcycle endorsement on their license is to complete either an MSF or S/TEP class. The MSF qualifies for anything classified as a motorcycle and the S/TEP class qualifies only for 3 wheels, trike or sidecar. Both very good programs.

As for the original post that started this thread, it wasn't meant to start a deep philosophical discussion, although I should have known better. I just found the video demonstration of what's called MOTION INDUCED BLINDNESS extremely interesting and thought others might also enjoy it.

Lynn Keen
North East Florida
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'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
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post #16 of 16 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 8:10 am
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Re: DOES "EYE CONTACT" KEEP YOU SAFE?

Good information here to all...............Mostly, do my riding in BFE Wildoming and generally the traffic is lite.........That said; there have been more than one situation that where drivers have looked directly at me, with the lights blazing, and pulled right on out.

Always ride defensively has been my standard practice. The most dangerous ride you can possibly take is that one where you just hop on the scoot and run an errand of a couple of blocks with out the helmet, ( and yes, I am guilty,) Letting the guard down for even a moment can be a fatal mistake. Most of the biking community around here believes the 'Loud pipes save lives.........." crap. Problem there is, they have actually gotten the local cager population trained to that way of thinking. My blazing lights and blaringly obnoxious horns are becoming one of my favorite entertainments.............

Every body, B-Safe.....................



Jim and Cyndy
'03 Black..."Ol' Dollar"
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