How does inattentional blindness change your perception?

| Jun 24, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

California drivers face many dangers on the road. Some are unavoidable. Others are. Distracted driving often falls into the latter category. But did you know that some types of distracted driving are unintentional? 

Most types involve decisions that drivers make a conscious choice for. This includes checking electronic devices or driving without getting enough sleep. But what about inattentional blindness? 

What is inattentional blindness? 

According to the American Psychological Association, inattentional blindness is completely normal. It is your brain’s way of deciding what is and is not important. Your brain will focus in on the relevant details and ignore the rest. Without this, you would feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you take in every day. 

But driving requires you to go against your natural instincts. You must multitask well when driving. You cannot focus on one thing. Doing so may distract you from many other sources of danger. For example, you may focus on oncoming traffic during a storm. It is hard to see, so you end up narrowing your focus to the traffic. You do not notice that you have gone over the speed limit. Or you might not notice a traffic sign up ahead. 

Who is prone to hyperfocusing? 

Some studies say new drivers are more prone to this type of accident. But inattentional blindness impacts everyone. This is because it is a natural reaction to environmental stimulus. As such, you cannot always prevent yourself from reacting like this. But you can remain aware of the fact that it may happen to you. That way, if you notice yourself hyperfocusing, you can redirect your attention.