‘Looked Saw & Forgot’ 27 September 2019 – Crucial new understanding – ‘Micro-memory lapses’
The authors of a paper entitled: “The ‘Saw but Forgot’ error: A role for short-term memory failures in understanding junction crashes?” have proposed a mechanism by which some motorcycle collisions which are current classified as ‘looked but failed to see’ crashes are actually the result of a memory issue – the motorcycle is actually seen and brought to conscious attention – but is then somehow forgotten again in what I suggested might be termed a ‘micro-memory lapse’.
In computer terms, this is ‘FIFO’ memory – first in, first out – and the buffer size is small.
What this means from a practical point of view is that in an environment where there are few vehicles, and assuming that the bike is seen in the first place, drivers (and other bikers incidentally) WILL remember the PTW as they plan their manoeuvre, so factoring in the motorcycle.
But in a crowded environment, where there are many things to keep track of, there is a risk that a motorcycle, although it HAS been seen, is then forgotten as other vehicles and maybe cycles and pedestrians catch the driver’s attention. With many vehicles to keep track of, there is a risk that the motorcycle’s presence slips from this short term ‘micro-memory’ as it’s filled with newer data.
Although the paper went on to give the suggestion that drivers should ‘see bike, SAY “BIKE”‘ to engage a different pathway in the brain to prevent these memory issues, my own conclusion (once again) is that it is just another reason why motorcyclists should assume first and foremost that they have not been seen, and be ready to take evasive action.
I will be incorporating this new theory into SOBS at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, there is a fuller explanation here.
LATEST UPDATES on Ko-Fi
*** SOBS *** Crucial new understanding – ‘Micro-memory lapses’
read it here…
*** SCIENCE OF BEING SEEN *** Danny John-Jules reports
read it here…
LIVE PRESENTATIONS of the Science Of Being Seen
I personally deliver SOBS approximately once a month on behalf of Kent Fire and Rescue Service at the Road Safety Experience, Rochester as part of the free ‘Biker Down’ course. If you would like to attend or organise a group, drop me a line and I’ll put wheels in motion.
You can also book me for your own club event (so long as it’s within a reasonable distance of London). Again, just drop me a line to find out more.
CONTACT ME TO MAKE A BOOKING
11AM Sunday 6th October 2019
RoSPA ADVANCED DRIVERS and RIDERS CAMBRIDGESHIRE
7PM Wednesday 25th September 2019
WEST LONDON RIDERS UXBRIDGE
JUST ADDED / coming soon
Just added 17 April 2019 – each page now has a short summary at the top, which covers the main points set out in the rest of the text.
Coming soon – ‘looked saw and forgot’ – a theory of ‘micro-memory lapses’
Coming soon – a brief explanation of what ‘science’ is, how it works, and whether we can trust the results.
Coming soon – some positive conclusions about how motorcyclists can prevent themselves being caught up in a ‘Two to Tangle’ collision with a driver at a junction.
Don’t forget – start from the bottom!
Since you’re here, I’ve a small favour to ask. If you feel able to make a small donation to the upkeep and continued development of SOBS, why not buy me a coffee? Each contribution is much appreciated. Each cuppa keeps me awake and writing! Thank you.
The material is free to all to access and use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. That means you can share it with your family and friends, and re-use it for club magazines and websites, so long as you acknowledge the source and author and include the same Creative Commons license in the derived works.
Please note, this Creative Commons license excludes commercial use. If you wish to use any of my work for commercial purposes, including (but not limited to) articles in pay-for magazines or commercial websites, please contact me.
Kevin Williams has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.
Photo credit Paul Townsend https://www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/20001313491