Illinois drivers know many of the most common driver distractions. Texting while driving was one of the biggest driver safety campaigns in recent years. This focused on distracted driving. But do you know anything about inattentional blindness?
This is another type of driver distraction, but it is unique. It involves distraction through concentration. Though it is normally a harmless phenomenon, it can cause drivers a lot of problems.
Why inattentional blindness is not good for drivers
According to the American Psychological Association, inattentional blindness helps you in daily life. But it harms you on the road. What is this? It is a psychological phenomenon designed to help you concentrate. Every day, we take in endless amounts of information. If we could not prioritize this information, it would overwhelm us. Inattentional blindness creates singular focus. We do not pick up on minute details of anything irrelevant to the task at hand.
The importance of multitasking
When driving, this creates a problem. It is important for drivers to multitask. They must focus on as many things as possible to create a picture of their surroundings. New drivers are common examples when discussing inattentional blindness. Some end up running red lights when paying close attention to surrounding traffic. But this does not only happen when you are new. Even if you are a seasoned driver, you are susceptible to inattentional blindness. It is the way the human brain focuses.
Awareness of this phenomenon allows you to recognize it in yourself. Are you are hyper-focusing on one thing? You can work to disengage and center your attention in a safer way.