I have had a number of experiences lately that go something like this: I am riding down a street and a car comes up to a stop sign on a cross street intersection (daylight, good visibility). The car waits until I am almost in the intersection and then pulls out right in front of me (I don't have a stop sign in my direction). An emergency braking procedure has been the only thing preventing me from slamming into the cars or being hit by them.
Well, it happened again yesterday. Really pissed, I chased the driver to his house. The high-speed chase had a strong calming effect on me. I stayed at the end of the driveway, took off my helmet, and motioned for the driver to come over. When he did I introduced myself and we shook hands. I then asked if he saw me when he nearly ran me over at the intersection. He said he had no idea what I was talking about (i.e., he did not see me) but apologized for the incident anyway. I believed him.
Most of these incidents take place at intersections and I now believe that there is no malice involved -- the drivers (young and old) just don't see me, or rather, I just don't register in their consciousness. Have there been any studies of the physiology of this phenomenon? How does a cyclist go about increasing the chances of being seen? (I already wear a hi-viz green-yellow jersey)
As a side thought, if I had done the logical thing and beat the snot out of the guy, a great misunderstanding would have been created because he had no idea why I was so perturbed. This makes me think we should assume not automatically assume drivers to be malicious in such situations.