Is inattentional blindness a type of driver distraction?

Posted on June 9, 2020

Utah drivers know dangerous driving behaviors put people at risk of crashes. Driver distraction is an umbrella term for some of these dangers. It refers to behaviors that take a driver’s attention from the road. These behaviors cause a large number of crashes and other risks. 

Today we will look at inattentional blindness. This psychological phenomenon is also a potential deadly distraction. How and why? We will answer these questions and more. 

The purpose of inattentional blindness 

The American Psychological Association discusses the everyday phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. On a daily basis, this phenomenon helps you function. You cannot process every detail you take in. It would be too overwhelming for your mind. Inattentional blindness is when your mind focuses on only the important details. While your attention is on those details, you are “blind” to everything else. This lets you process your surroundings without information overwhelming you. 

Why it is dangerous for drivers 

But driving requires you to take in a huge amount of information. Being able to multitask is one of the most crucial components. You must be able to pay attention to how fast you are going. At the same time, you have to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic. You must also check your rear-view mirror for cars behind you. Also, you need to keep an eye out for unexpected obstacles or dangers that appear on the road. As you can tell, there is a lot that goes into safe driving. If you end up focusing on one thing and ignoring the rest, it can lead to a crash. For that reason, inattentional blindness is a type of driver distraction.