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Do You Know What Inattentional Blindness Is?

On Behalf of Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC Feb. 27, 2022

As a driver, you know that it is important to keep your attention on the road at all times. You can do this by eliminating distractions and not engaging in these behaviors while driving, such as refusing to use handheld devices.

But what about issues that you cannot predict or even stop yourself from engaging in?

How Inattentional Blindness Works

VeryWell Mind looks into inattentional blindness as a psychological phenomenon. This is a natural response to too many stimuli in your area at any given time. If you need to focus on one thing, your brain may engage in inattentional blindness, making it so you become “blind” to anything but the topic you are focused on.

This does a lot of good in certain situations, but it can cause problems on the road. One of the most important parts of driving is understanding how to split your attention and multitask. You need to pay attention to all four directions of the road when driving, and you need to switch your focus between the inside and outside of your vehicle often.

The Dangers of Hyper-Focusing when Driving

Of course, if you end up hyper-focusing on one thing like your speedometer, you can no longer split your attention evenly. This can lead to issues such as focusing on making a light before it turns red, only to fail to notice an animal darting across the street in front of you.

Unfortunately, inattentional blindness is hard to prevent as it is a natural instinct. Awareness of it can help you notice when you have engaged in it, however, which may allow you the chance to stop.