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What is inattentional blindness?

| Aug 19, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Pennsylvania drivers understand the risks associated with sharing the road. Unfortunately, you cannot predict every source of danger you may come across. Other drivers do not always know when they are driving dangerously.

One such example is inattentional blindness. What is this? How does it affect drivers? And why is it so dangerous to you?

How inattentional blindness works

The American Psychological Association looks at the phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. Inattentional blindness causes your brain to focus on one thing with great intensity. You focus to the point of tuning everything else out. A common example involves a teen driver. In this theoretical scenario, the teen driver focuses on checking for traffic. But they are so focused on this task that they fail to notice a deer crossing the road and hit it.

Accidents involving inattentional blindness sometimes baffle experts. The distractions drivers do not notice are sometimes large. But that is the nature of the human mind. If you focus too much on one thing, you cannot focus on anything else.

Who inattentional blindness affects

This is a natural phenomenon, meaning it happens without you noticing. This can make it hard to combat. You must react fast if you notice your attention zeroing in on one specific area of focus. It helps to practice multitasking and dividing your attention. This is why experts speculate inattentional blindness affects new drivers. They do not have the experience with multitasking that older drivers do. But distraction affects drivers of all ages and experience. Maintaining awareness of this fact can help keep you safe on the road.