Research tells us that objects with two horizontal spots are seen very well by primitive parts of our brains. After millions of years of evolution this kind of image (a predator watching us) leads to a very fast and forced movement of our attention to that image. We aim our fovea (the centre of our field of vision) automatically to this image. In other words, our brain automatically searches for similar images and focuses its attention automatically on this kind of images. It literally strikes us in the eye. It is just a matte of surviving, if our ancestors were not so good in spotting these eyes of predators, we would not be alive today.
Research also shows that the motorcyclist is easily missed by the motorist, he is often filtered out by the so-called attention filter. The motorcyclist is also small and has only one spot of his headlights which has no sharp outline. The spot is also white, which is not conspicuous, certainly not in daytime.
Flashing also attracts attention. Specially in the periphery (corners of our eyes). Police, fire departments, roadblocks etc. use these phenomena too.
If we let our indicators burn dipped (running-lights), about half of their capacity, we fulfill this "two eyes reflex". We will automatically, instinctively, be seen much more and much better. We also look much wider with these running-lights and our distance and speed can be estimated much better. The color orange is always very contrasting which helps us being noticed too. We are convinced that these running-lights helps us being noticed and recognized much more often. Without these running-lights we are only a white spot which is often not noticed, especially by motorist who do not drive a bike. We are simply more trained in spotting the image of a car than the image of a bike.
If we still are not noticed or have our doubts, we will brake or at least touch the brake. If we let our indicators flash a short time when braking we will be seen after all and an accident can be prevented!
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