What is inattentional blindness?

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2021 | Car Accidents

Drivers like you face numerous risks on the road. Some are easy to prepare for. Others can catch you by surprise. This includes issues like inattentional blindness, which you often do not realize is happening.

What should you know about inattentional blindness? How does it affect drivers? And how do you know whether you are at elevated risk?

A psychological phenomenon

The American Psychological Association discusses inattentional blindness as a potentially dangerous phenomenon to drivers. Inattentional blindness refers to a phenomenon in which you focus on one thing with such intensity that you fail to notice anything else. For example, you may focus on your speed to ensure you drive within the limit. In focusing solely on your speedometer, you do not notice traffic signs and run a stop sign.

Inattentional blindness manifests in many different ways. The most common examples often involve a driver making an easily avoidable mistake. Accidentally breaking traffic laws is not uncommon, either.

Who is at risk?

Newer drivers tend to fall prey to inattentional blindness more than experienced drivers. But all drivers may experience these effects at some point. All it takes is a little distraction, which can happen to anyone at any time. If you are in a state of mental distraction, you may want to wait before hitting the road. Anything taking your mind off the task at hand can contribute to your chances of experiencing inattentional blindness.

If you got into a crash with a driver suffering from inattentional blindness, you may want to discuss the matter with a legal professional. They can help you decide how to move forward in the aftermath.