Why can’t drivers see motorcycle riders?

One of the first lessons every new rider learns is that automobile drivers don’t easily notice motorcycles on the road. In fact, drivers who make direct eye contact with a motorcycle rider at an intersection still may not realize that the rider is there.

This phenomena has resulted in many motorcycle accidents, which are oftentimes fatal. So what is causing this lapse in judgement and can it be fixed?

Size and shape

Some researchers have suggested that the small size and shape of a motorcycle can cause the vehicle to appear to be traveling slower from further away than it actually is. This can easily cause a lapse in a driver’s judgement when making decisions to merge or turn. In these situations, a driver fails to see the motorcycle where it truly is.


Others have said that because of the size and shape of a motorcycle is out of the ordinary, our brain takes longer to process what our eyes see. Though the time this takes is minimal, it may not be long enough to recognize a motorcycle while making a quick decision at an intersection. If the speed of the motorcycle is faster than it takes us to fully recognize that the motorcycle is there, a collision can easily occur.

Inattentional blindness 

The concept of inattentional blindness suggests that the reason our brain has difficulty processing the presence of a motorcycle when we see one is because we are not looking for them — not simply because they are less common on the roads. This would mean that if drivers are intentionally looking to see if a car or a motorcycle may be present, they are more likely to notice a motorcycle.

The Department of Transportation suggests wearing bright colors, using headlights at all times and wearing reflective material to stand out while riding a motorcycles.If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer about what happened. Motorcycles have the same rights to the road as automobiles and you deserve to be justly compensated for your pain and suffering whether the driver in the accident was expecting to see you or not.

Safe Winter driving in Pennsylvania

The winter months mean snowy and icy roads are upon us and as we know, driving on them can be a challenge. Being prepared and knowing what to expect in adverse weather can help create a safer ride and prevent motor vehicle accidents.

Whether you’re an experienced winter driver or new to snow and ice, we can all benefit from reminders about safe winter driving.

Winter weather can bring unexpected and dangerous road conditions. Before you hit the highways this winter, it’s important to be prepared:

  • Check your car’s tires, battery, brakes and fluids to ensure they are working properly.
  • Pack yourself an emergency kit that includes snacks, water, a flashlight, a cell phone charger, blankets, a shovel, jumper cables, a first aid kit, extra winter gear, an ice scraper, sand, matches and other supplies.
  • Listen to weather advisories and if possible, avoid traveling when weather conditions are unfavorable.

Drivers may need to adjust their habits to stay safe while driving on snow-covered roads, so the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recommends the following while traveling:

  • Clear your car of snow and ice before you drive and as you are traveling.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank close to full.
  • Slow down and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
  • Increase the following distance between you and other vehicles.
  • Brake carefully to stay in control and avoid using your car’s cruise control.
  • Use your headlights – state law requires the use of headlights when using your windshield wipers.
  • Be aware of black ice.
  • Drive carefully on bridges and overpasses.
  • Use caution around snowplows and slow down as soon as you encounter one.
  • Let others know about your travel plans in case you run into an emergency.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

PennDOT also recommends avoiding travel when winter weather conditions are in the forecast, but if you must drive, keep safety first and foremost.

What happens to my loved ones if I don’t have a will?

A will is one of the best ways for you to care for your loved ones after your death. If you have not made a will yet, Pennsylvania law determines where your assets go. Certain family members—such as your spouse—will automatically receive a portion of your estate whether you have a plan or not.

But certain family members, specifically children, might not get anything if you don’t have a will. How your children are related to you can affect whether the law allows them a share of your property.

Children you placed for adoption

If another family adopts your child, a share of your estate will not automatically go to the child. It doesn’t matter if you have an open adoption that lets you know and visit your child—the adoption terminated the legal bond created at birth. You would have to specify in your will that you are leaving a share to your child if you want them to receive anything.


If you have living children, they will receive an even share of your estate. Your children’s children are not guaranteed to receive any inheritance from you. One way your grandchildren would automatically get a share is if your child dies—leaving them without a parental connection to you.

If your children are still alive, you would have to make a will that assigns a share to your grandchildren specifically.

Foster and stepchildren

You may have cared for a child throughout their entire life—whether through foster care or a remarriage. If you never legally adopt a foster or stepchild, however, your estate will not benefit them. You need to make your children legally a part of your family before they qualify for an automatic share.

A will can give financial security and show your love to your family after you are gone. If you don’t have one, your estate might leave out children who aren’t directly related.

Consider creating a will to protect your loved ones. An attorney can help you create an estate plan that can help all of your loved ones get the inheritance they deserve after you pass away.