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What is inattentional blindness?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2022 | Accidentes automovilísticos, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When you drive, one of the most important things is your ability to multitask. Without it, you could easily end up getting into a crash.

Unfortunately, some distractions are beyond your ability to control. This includes the natural phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. But just what is it?

The original purpose

The American Psychological Association looks at inattentional blindness. This is a reflexive phenomenon that people do not typically have conscious control over. It works as a way to hone a person’s attention, so they can give their all when focusing on a crucial matter.

In some ways, this is very helpful. For example, you would likely feel better knowing that your surgeon is focused entirely on your surgery and will not suffer distractions from other things going on in the operating room.

The issue with driving

But for drivers, this could be a major problem. Inattentional blindness is the opposite of multitasking. It narrows your scope of vision to one singular point, at the exclusion of anything else you should focus on.

In short, you could end up focusing on one thing so intently that you miss a danger right in front of you. You may, for example, end up paying so much attention to your speedometer that you do not notice a light turning red ahead.

Many crashes end up caused by distractions, and distractions from inattentional blindness, hyper-focusing and an inability to multitask make up a portion of them. While it is difficult for drivers to overcome the reflexive nature of inattentional blindness, having an awareness of it in the first place makes it easier to break yourself out.