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How does inattentional blindness impact safety?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When you get behind the wheel and hit the road, it is important to be in peak mental and physical wellness. One wrong move and you could end up in a crash, which could harm you, your passengers, or anyone else outside of your car.

But sometimes, distractions will affect you whether or not you have enough sleep or feel focused. Inattentional blindness incidents are one example of this.

How it interacts with driving

Noba discusses the failure of awareness that accompanies inattentional blindness. Inattentional blindness is a natural psychological phenomenon designed to help humans concentrate on things better without getting distracted by outside interference. While this often helps in instances that require extreme focus, it is actually detrimental in situations that require multitasking.

For example, say that you have focused your attention solely on your speedometer because you notice a police officer on the side of the road checking everyone’s speed. However, in your attempt to stay below the speed limit, you end up driving through a stop sign that you did not notice.

You may feel like you could never miss anything as big as a road sign or an animal in the road. However, inattentional blindness can indeed “blind” you to even big, obvious things right in the middle of your field of vision.

Your driving experience does not matter

Inattentional blindness also affects drivers of all experience levels. Younger and newer drivers often fall prey to it more often, but since it is a natural phenomenon, it is not something you “grow out of”. It is simply something you begin to recognize, so you can snap yourself out of it and avoid any serious issues.