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What is inattentional blindness?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Drivers need to be good at several things in order to remain safe while on the road. One thing that most people do not think of is the ability to multitask. After all, without this skill, it is far too easy to get distracted while driving.

Unfortunately, there is a natural part of human psychology that can get in your way, here. It is inattentional blindness, and it can strike any driver without warning.

The use of inattentional blindness

The American Psychological Association takes a look at the phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. As mentioned, this is a natural phenomenon that actually helps us in daily life. This phenomenon involves blocking out superfluous information in order to focus on one thing at a time. Normally, this is very useful as it keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information your brain takes in minute by minute.

Struggles with IB as a driver

But as a driver, it does more harm than good at times. One common example involves your speed. Many drivers keep a close eye on their speedometer so they do not get ticketed for going over the limit. But if you spend too much time focusing on how fast or slow you are going, you may miss sudden dangers such as a car coming to a surprise stop in front of you.

This phenomenon affects drivers of all abilities and ages, as well. Newer and younger drivers often get stereotyped with inattentiveness, and some believe they crash more frequently than others because they are more susceptible to inattentional blindness. But studies show it can strike anyone at any time. Your best form of defense is simply being aware that it could happen.

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