How can inattentional blindness impact driver safety?

How can inattentional blindness impact driver safety?


Distractions serve as one of the primary dangers that drivers face on the road. They come in many forms as well, with some easy to spot and avoid while others remain elusive and hard to predict.

Inattentional blindness falls into the latter category. It can strike at any time, no matter your skill level or how long you have been driving. After all, it is actually a perfectly natural phenomenon that helps you get through daily life.

What is inattentional blindness?

The American Psychological Association discusses the impact of inattentional blindness in daily life. Outside of your car, inattentional blindness actually helps you live your life. It essentially keeps you from trying to focus on too many different things at once, allowing you to instead bring your attention to the most important matter.

Without inattentional blindness or the ability to block out unnecessary or unimportant information, your brain could easily end up overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information it takes in. Every minute, your eyes take in thousands of tiny details that your brain simply does not register due to their lack of importance to your current situation.

How does it affect drivers?

Unfortunately, this works against you as a driver. You need the ability to multitask and pay attention to multiple sources of potential risk at once. Inattentional blindness behind the wheel leads to crashes because you fail to pick up on one danger while fixating on another.

This can happen no matter how long you have had your license or how old you are. While new and young drivers get a bad reputation for falling prey to this, it can truly happen to anyone at any time. Awareness of this possibility is one of the only things that can help you act against it.

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