May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and motorists are reminded to be cautious, alert and visible when on the road.

A Texas Tech University faculty member, Pat DeLucia, learned through research that motorcycle accidents are not necessarily caused by poor driving or carelessness, but may be related to a basic human error judgment.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.

DeLucia, professor in Texas Tech University’s Department of Psychology and coordinator of the Human Factors Psychology Program, said her results show that small objects can appear farther away than larger, farther objects. Through her research, she found that an object’s size affects distance perception and may be the basis of car drivers miscalculating motorcyclists’ distance and speed.

To learn more about DeLucia’s research, visit here.


Pat DeLucia, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-0968 or [email protected].