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Riding a motorcycle? Ride like you're invisible

If you want to stay in one piece when you ride a motorcycle, there's one important rule to remember: "Ride like you're invisible."

Because you probably are.

The human mind has some fascinating ways of processing information -- and much of that information is obtained visually. In fact, so much information gets this way that people's brains simply can't take stock of it all at once. To cope, the brain simply stops registering anything that isn't immediately important.

There's a famous video involving a group of people passing basketballs back and forth. When asked to count the number of times the basketball is passed between certain players, a large majority of people won't even notice the person dressed as a gorilla that joins the game and leaves again. Their brains are practicing the sort of selective attention that probably once benefited human beings greatly in the wild.

On the road, however, selective attention is a serious hazard to the average motorcyclist. How can you ride like you're invisible? Follow these tips:

  • Wear a helmet. First of all, it's safer. Second, helmets tend to attract attention from other people because they don't easily blend into the background the way that someone's head might. Pick a neon colored one for extra assistance being seen.
  • Use reflective tape on your bike. Put it in numerous areas so you're as visible at night as you are in the daylight -- maybe more so.
  • Skip the black leather. Throw on some riding gear with color. As much as you dare.
  • Stay in the sights of the drivers around you. When possible, move the bike back and forth a little to attract the attention of the driver who is nearest you. If you can, make eye contact.

No matter what you do, however, you may still end up in an accident through no fault of your own. If that happens, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries. Find out more -- before you talk to an insurance adjustor.

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