Distracted driving poses great danger to everyone on the road. Any form of distracted driving can result in crashes, injury and even loss of life. This is part of why it is so crucial for more people to understand inattentional blindness.
What is it? How does it affect drivers? Who is at risk of experiencing inattentional blindness while driving? And is there anything you can do to lower your chances of it happening to you?
What causes inattentional blindness?
The American Psychological Association discusses the potential dangers of inattentional blindness. It occurs when one thing takes up your entire attention span, “blinding” you to other potential dangers or surprises on the road. Though young drivers often get a bad reputation for falling prey to this, it can happen to any driver. Some factors that may contribute to inattentional blindness include:
- Not getting enough sleep before driving
- Driving while mentally distracted
- Driving through an area you have never been to before
- Attempting to navigate in unknown spaces
- Stress or anxiety
How can you keep yourself safe?
To lower your chances of experiencing inattentional blindness, you should always get enough sleep and drive while experiencing mental clarity. Try to avoid getting behind the wheel while emotionally or mentally distraught, too.
You can also keep yourself safe by learning to notice when inattentional blindness begins affecting you. Common examples include driving through stop signs or traffic lights, taking turns without looking and driving through crosswalks without checking for pedestrians. When drivers train themselves to take extra care around these areas, it is possible to cut through the fog of inattentional blindness.