While many modern automobiles come with a variety of safety features, the most effective way to reduce the risk of a crash is to pay close attention to your surroundings when operating a motor vehicle.
Inattentional blindness occurs when a person fails to recognize a visible but unexpected object. It often occurs during moments of distraction.
If you have been driving for a long time, certain aspects of your daily commute become second nature to your brain and body. Because you are confident in your route and abilities, your attention may wander, causing a case of intentional blindness. For example, while waiting to make a legal right-hand turn at a red light, you may be thinking about an important task you need to do at work, or you may be watching a scene unfold in the parking lot across the street. While your thoughts are distant, you glance to your left to check for oncoming cars, and not seeing any right away, you attempt to complete your turn. You only realize your mistake after the collision. Inattentional blindness is a common phenomenon, but it is preventable.
When driving, it is important to devote your mental attention to the task at all times. To prevent inattentional blindness accidents, you should:
- Assume other drivers may be inattentive
- Put your phone away
- Watch for signs or cues for potential hazards
If you are the victim of a distracted driver, it is important to collect as much data as you can, get immediate medical treatment for your injuries and understand your right to seek compensation for your losses.