Motion Induced Blindness Explained. Do The Test.

After reading this article, you will want to do this Motion Induced Blindness Test.

In an accident, wherein a speeding car hits a slower moving vehicle coming from the side, the speeding car drivers often swear that they just didn’t see the vehicle coming from the left or right.

Well, they aren’t lying. They really don’t see the vehicle coming from the side, in spite of broad daylight. This phenomenon on the car drivers’ part is known as “Motion Induced Blindness”. It is unbelievable but it is true, and it is definitely frightening.

Armed forces pilots are taught about motion induced blindness during training, because it happens faster at high speeds; and to some extent it is applicable to car and motorcycle drivers also, especially the fast ones. Once airborne, pilots are taught to alternate their gaze between scanning the horizon and scanning their instrument panel, and never to fix their gaze for more than a couple of seconds on any single object. They are taught to continually keep their heads on a swivel and their eyes always moving. Because, if you fix your gaze on one object long enough while you yourself are in motion, your peripheral vision goes blind. That’s why it is called motion induced blindness. Now, they have on-board radars, but the old technique still holds good.

So, if you are driving at a high speed on a highway and if you fix your gaze on the road straight ahead, you will not see a car, a scooter, a buggy, a bicycle, a buffalo or even a human being approaching from the side. Now reverse the picture. If you are crossing a road on foot and you see a speeding car approaching . . . there’s a 90% chance that the driver isn’t seeing you, because his/her peripheral vision may be blind! And you may be in that blind zone! Want to see a demonstration that is used for trainee pilots in classrooms before they even go near an aircraft. Just click on this Motion Induced Blindness Test.

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13 Responses to “Motion Induced Blindness Explained. Do The Test.”


  1. 1 Brandon May 4th, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Weird and interesting.

  2. 2 Luis May 4th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Target fixation will get you killed.

  3. 3 Tom May 4th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I heard from several people that the driver ED people said to look right in front of your vehicle instead of looking down the road a ways.Problem is if you look at vehicle in front of you you cannot focus to see anything beyond it, but if you look a good ways ahead of you ,you can refocus more easily on something closer.

  4. 4 izadore007 May 4th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    That is what happened to me riding down A1A. I saw this Tall must have been 6′ tall white Chick with long Red`Hair. Hair was that Auburn Color and real short Shorts, and no under wear, I swear she didn’t have any on! I kept looking and looking.

  5. 5 Dog Williams May 5th, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Scary with a capital dead.

  6. 6 ragsflh May 5th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    thats scrrry for bikers

  7. 7 freedomlaw May 5th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    This is why I read this motorcycle blog everyday. Always the best and most interesting information. Thank you. Fascinating.

  8. 8 Shifter May 7th, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I agree with freedomlaw. Most “intelligent” and interesting motorcycle news website

  9. 9 Big Mike May 7th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Maybe on-board radar is next for cars & cycles. Some cars already have a form of it.

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus May 7th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Situational Awareness….loose it and it could cost you and/or others their life!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  11. 11 Badams May 7th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    “Officer…….a couple points to consider before you cite me for open exhaust:

    1. The Motorcycle Foundation study concluded that over 50% of drivers are affected by Motion Induced Blindness; additionally, the FCC released data that 50% of all drivers text while driving. That would conclude drivers lack the peripheral vision, and of the subset of those who do are texting.

    2. Based on the US DOT, there is no limit to illegal road noise, albeit a motorcycle produces 90db on average. However a clothes dryer produces 50db and having just passed on, it would appear the db levels from the coinop are 4-5x the db levels produced by open exhaust.

    As you can see I am dealing with some real safety concerns as a motorcyclist:
    –Motion Blindness
    –Texting
    –Road Noise from other vehicles

    “The application of open exhaust is to provide a safety barrier through audible sound identification.”

  12. 12 krasha May 8th, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Whoa scary stuff. Dont tell the dumb f*** cage drivers or worse thier solicitors this.
    They clean enough of us up without giving them a get out of jail free card.

  13. 13 Wiz May 11th, 2012 at 5:43 am

    WoW, That’s amazin’! Slow it down, ‘an even with big yellow dots…they STILL disappear! Sumthun’ to DEFINATLY consider and be aware of! Thanks Cyril! Wiz

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