Driving requires the driver’s full attention, and even then, sometimes that falls short inexplicably. When drivers encounter something in the roadway that appears obvious, they may not see it. This is a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness, and it may become deadly.
Learn about what this means and what all drivers should do to keep themselves and others safe.
What is inattentional blindness?
The appearance of something in a person’s line of sight that is easily visible should spark a reaction in the brain. For those experiencing a moment of inattentional blindness, this is not the case. This can explain why some people claim not to have seen a truck or animal even though they were looking ahead.
Inattentional blindness occurs when a person fails to concentrate on a task and misses crucial information right in front of them. It means that a person’s visual sense may take in an object, but the brain is too busy doing something else to process it quickly enough.
What can drivers do to stop inattentional blindness?
There is no set cure for a driver’s bout of inattentional blindness, but there are measures that can prevent it. First, a driver should remove all in-car distractions, including the obvious things such as:
- Eating and drinking
Next, drivers should actively engage their brains with the sights and sounds of the road. For example, reading exit signs or keeping tabs on car colors can keep the brain active during driving versus letting it wander and become ineffective.
Crashes that happen as a result of intentional blindness may do significant damage to vehicles and the people in them.