Inattentional Blindness and Distracted Driving

Distractions and sensory deprivation can cause what has been labeled "Inattentional Blindness." The term "inattentional blindness", also known as "perceptual blindness" is defined as a psychological lack of attention that is not associated with any defects or deficits. It may be further defined as " the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight." In other words, people sometimes fail to see major things that are going on right in front of their eyes. Drivers can experience inattentional blindness especially if they are distracted by practices such as texting. Looking at tiny keyboards and punching numbers into a tiny screen can cause a driver to avert their attention from the road in front of them and the task of driving.

When your brain is focused on one act, such as talking on a cell phone or texting, you can miss things that are going on around you. People are not always as good at multitasking as they think they are. Driving is a task that requires full attention. Talking or texting while driving or while walking decreases a person's awareness of the situation and increases the likelihood that a person will miss something important.

By focusing on only one task, we lose the ability to focus on other tasks. That is why you should not talk on cellphones or text while driving. Our brains can only process so much information at one time. Multi-tasking requires brainpower and processing power for each task. When there is focus on just one task, other tasks are not performed as well.

It is extremely important to minimize distractions while driving because an error made while driving can lead to a serious accident. For drivers who have any type of cognitive impairment such as a head or brain injury, it is even more important to minimize distractions and focus on the task at hand.


Tips to Avoid Distractions: When you are driving, you should devote all your attention and focus on the task of driving. Following are some suggestions:

  • Turn your phone off when you get in your car.
  • If you must answer a call or text, pull over to a safe place to do so.
  • Familiarize yourself with your car's equipment so you can adjust the car's features without taking your eyes off the road.
  • Do not eat while driving.
  • If you must make a call, ask a passenger to make it for you.
  • Make sure you are not over-tired when you drive.
  • Do not try to enter an address into your GPS while driving.
  • Keep your pets secure.
  • If you have issues with children in the car, pull over to address those issues.

Sarasota and Bradenton Personal Injury Attorneys:

If you have been injured in a Sarasota or Bradenton motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, please call the Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 218-8220 to schedule a free consultation.

Categories