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Saccadic Masking and Motorcycle Accidents


A driver stops at the end of a road as you approach on your motorcycle, heading down the cross street. You don't have a stop sign, but they do. You see the driver looks in your direction. Then, even though they just looked at you, they pull out into the road.

For a motorcyclist, it's a nightmare situation. You cannot avoid the crash, and you are probably going to suffer serious injuries if you survive at all.

But what happened? How could that driver look at you and then cut you off like that anyway?

There are a few reasons, including distracted driving and poor eyesight. However, another possibility is something known as saccadic masking. That is when your brain has too much information to take in, so it skips over quick eye movements -- like that glance down the road. It just lets you "see" one of your recent memories. That reduces the amount of information the brain has to process.

For instance, maybe you were coming around a corner. When the driver pulled up to the stop sign and looked, the road was empty. Then they looked the other way as you came around the corner. When they looked back in your direction a second time, they just "saw" their memory of the empty road from a second before. They had no idea you and your bike were ever there because they didn't take long enough to overcome the saccadic masking.

If you wind up with serious injuries after a crash, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. It's wise to consult an attorney who can help you explore your legal options.

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