Washington drivers know that distractions can lead to crashes. But do you know how many distractions you face on a daily basis? Do you know that inattentional blindness may impact your driving? 

Today we will discuss inattentional blindness. What is it? How does it relate to driver safety? What can you do to cut back on your chance of dealing with inattentional blindness? 

The phenomenon of inattentional blindness 

The American Psychological Association discusses what inattentional blindness is. They discuss how it affects drivers. Inattentional blindness is a psychological phenomenon. In it, a person focuses on one thing. They put their attention on this sole item. Because of that, they no longer notice or pay attention to anything else around them. 

As for driving, inattentional blindness has a strong risk potential. Hyper-focus can take a driver’s attention away from sudden, unexpected dangers. For example, there are cases of new drivers who run red lights. They do not see these lights. Why? Because they are focusing on other things. This can include the speedometer, the rear-view mirror, or oncoming traffic. 

Distracted driving and increased crash risk 

In a twist of irony, inattentional blindness is a type of distracted driving. Drivers focus so intently that their attentiveness distracts them. In essence, focusing too much may create as many dangers as not focusing enough. 

It is important for drivers to be aware of the risk inattentional blindness poses. Understanding that it exists means you can watch for warning signs in yourself. Drivers should recognize they display signs of inattentional blindness. This way, it is easier to correct the issue.