Ohio drivers know that distraction on the road can take lives. Some forms of distraction receive more attention than others. For example, campaigns against texting while driving took the state by storm. But all types of distracted driving behavior have the potential to be this deadly.
Today, we will look at a psychological phenomenon that may cause you distraction. Recognizing inattentional blindness as a potential risk can help you to avoid it.
The use of inattentional blindness
The American Psychological Association examines inattentional blindness as a psychological phenomenon. Outside of driving, this phenomenon is helpful. It allows us to focus on important details. We can do this without getting overwhelmed by everything else. You are “blinded” to extraneous information as you focus on one sole thing.
But in driving, you need to multitask. You must focus on your speed. You must pay attention to oncoming traffic. You must scan your rear view mirror for other cars. You must watch the road for potential obstacles. And you have to do this at the same time. Inattentional blindness forces you to focus on only one thing. This means other dangers can take you by surprise.
Inattentional blindness in new and old drivers
New drivers face stronger instances of inattentional blindness. They are not used to multitasking while driving. But inattentional blindness is a psychological mechanism that every human has. This means it can affect every driver, no matter how long you have driven.
If you notice that you are hyper-focusing, it is likely inattentional blindness. This can lead to running red lights or traffic signs because you do not see them. In turn, that leads to crashes. It is important to recognize your distraction before things get to that point.