Inattentional blindness is a psychological phenomenon you may not have heard of before, but you have likely experienced. In daily life, it does not usually pose a problem.
But it could become a danger in no time at all under other circumstances. This includes when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and hit the road.
What does inattentional blindness mean?
The American Psychological Association details inattentional blindness and what it means for people. This psychological phenomenon has had scientists speculating that it is a remnant of pre-civilization behaviors meant to keep our ancestors alive and safe in a very dog-eat-dog world. In essence, it allows you to hyper-focus on one specific task, to the exclusion of everything else around you.
This can do wonders if you need to work on something extremely important and detail oriented. It can also help if the thing you must focus on is integral to your survival.
The risk drivers face
However, it can also pose a major danger. For example, you could end up hyper-focused on a test to the point that you do not even notice a fight breaking out on the other side of the room.
The consequences could end up lethal when a car ends up in the mix. Inattentional blindness can happen to anyone at any time without warning, regardless of experience in driving. For example, you could end up hyper-focused on your speedometer, missing a stop sign partially covered by an overgrown tree. This could end in you hitting someone else, or getting hit by another car.
You can learn the potential signs of inattentional blindness, however, and work toward breaking yourself out of it if you end up experiencing it on the road.