How does inattentional blindness affect driver safety?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

New Jersey drivers understand they will face many risks while on the road. But do you know what the source of those risks are? It is impossible for every driver to know every risk. But it is possible for drivers to familiarize themselves with basic risks.

Distracted driving is one of these basic risks. Many other topics fall under this category. Today, we will look at inattentional blindness in specific.

What is inattentional blindness?

The American Psychological Association talks about inattentional blindness as a psychological phenomenon. What is it? It is a phenomenon in which a person misses something very obvious due to focusing elsewhere. Their focus is so intense that they cannot pay attention to anything else that is happening.

This happens quite often with drivers. In a paradoxical twist, it is a little more common with new drivers. This is because they have so much to focus on. They do not know how to divide their attention well yet. They pay attention to their speedometer. They keep an eye on the traffic ahead of them and their rear-view mirror. Because of this, they may miss very obvious dangers like red lights or animals in the road.

Driver susceptibility to inattentional blindness?

But every driver is susceptible to inattentional blindness. As a form of distracted driving, it may impact anyone at any time. As an example, “rubber-necking” may cause inattentional blindness. This is the act of playing spectator to a crash or disaster happening elsewhere on the road. Paying attention to that means you do not notice if a car stops in front of you.

All distracted driving issues have the potential to result in crashes. Because of that, drivers must identify what distracted driving behaviors are. They must then work to counteract them.


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