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What is inattentional blindness?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2021 | Blog

Drivers need to have the ability to multitask. In fact, this is one of the most important skills that helps keep you protected while on the road. Without it, you could experience a potential increase in your chance of getting into crashes.

This is why inattentional blindness causes so many problems. But what is it and why should you feel concerned about it?

The practical purpose of inattentional blindness

The American Psychological Association looks into inattentional blindness. This is a natural psychological phenomenon that actually helps us out in daily life. Imagine trying to remember and process the detailed information of every single thing you see. Your brain would easily get overwhelmed. Sorting through all of that information would be difficult or near impossible, and inefficient to boot.

Inattentional blindness effectively “blinds” you from whatever you are not focusing on. This means your brain pays attention to and stores only the information relevant to whatever it is you are currently doing. This is a great help in most daily activities.

Potential downsides and risks

But it does have downsides. If you focus too intently on one topic, then you can easily end up missing crucial details elsewhere. This is risky if you are dealing with dangerous situations that require a lot of attention, such as surgeons performing surgery, hikers in the woods, or drivers.

This phenomenon can affect all drivers of any age or skill level, despite rumors otherwise. Thus, it is important to be aware of its impacts and how it can affect you. This will prepare you to act against signs as you see them, centering your focus back on the road and lowering your chances of crashing.