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How inattentional blindness can affect drivers

| May 15, 2021 | Firm News

Driving a motorcycle in New Jersey has distinct advantages, such as better gas mileage and maneuverability, but it also has a huge downside. You have little protection if you collide with a bigger, heavier automobile, such as a passenger vehicle or commercial truck. Although you can take precautions, sometimes, it’s not enough.

According to the CDC, the main types of distraction are visual, manual and cognitive. While visual and manual distractions are typically purposeful, cognitive distraction occurs when your mind wanders while driving or you lose focus.

Inattentional blindness

The brain processes a lot of information outside of conscious awareness. When your eyes see something your brain doesn’t expect, you might not see an important event. Inattentional blindness is a phenomenon that occurs when you miss critical information, even when looking directly at it.

Truck drivers spend long periods behind the wheel. They expect to see four-wheeled passenger vehicles and other commercial traffic. Signs warning of construction zones makes them aware of disrupted traffic patterns ahead. However, if you ride a motorcycle, the driver may look directly at you and not see you coming.

Distracted driving vs. inattentional blindness

When a person multitasks, the brain has difficulty focusing on two or more thinking tasks simultaneously. This becomes a distraction. If a truck driver splits his attention between the road and secondary tasks, such as changing the radio station or texting, it can interfere with visual tasks. As a result, he could miss unexpected events on the road around him, such as a person crossing the street or your motorcycle passing his rig.

Boredom, a low workload and highly practiced tasks, including driving, reduces mental attention given to them, resulting in inattentional blindness. As a result, a truck driver could look but not see you and change lanes, colliding with your bike. If you sustained severe injuries in an accident with a big rig, it’s critical that you understand your rights. You might have grounds for a settlement that can help pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.