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How do you deal with inattentional blindness when driving?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

As a driver, you know that it is important to hit the road with full attentiveness every time. After all, it only takes one lapse in consciousness to end up in a serious crash.

Some distractions are harder to combat than others, though. Inattentional blindness falls into this category.

Where is inattentional blindness useful?

Verywell Mind discusses inattentional blindness when driving. This form of distraction is a mental mechanism that is useful in certain situations in everyday life. It allows for a person to hyper-fixate on one specific thing to the exclusion of all else.

It is useful in situations like emergency rooms and hospitals. These places bustle with activity, creating a chaotic and distracting environment. The doctors who work in them must have the ability to focus on their job in order to perform it well and save lives.

The problem of distraction

But for drivers, inattentional blindness merely serves as a potential distraction that can keep them from dividing their attention equally between all dangers. For example, a driver spending too much time worrying about their speed may end up missing a stop sign and driving through an intersection. These small mistakes can easily stack up and lead to big crashes.

On top of that, inattentional blindness can affect any driver at any time. It does not matter how long someone has driven or how much experience or even rest they have before they get behind the wheel.

Though there is no real way to stop inattentional blindness from happening, it is possible for drivers to recognize it. This way, they can break themselves out of this state of hyper fixation and return to a more evenly spread state of attention.