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How does inattentional blindness affect truckers?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Trucking Safety

Truck drivers must prioritize road safety above any other type of driver, due to the size and weight of the vehicle they man. It can easily cause damage to other vehicles, and most cars that end up in crashes with truckers take the brunt of the damage.

Unfortunately, this makes issues like inattentional blindness even bigger and more pressing. But what exactly is this problem, and why does it affect drivers negatively in the first place?

Inattentional blindness in daily life

The American Psychological Association takes a look at inattentional blindness. Under normal circumstances in daily life, this is actually a helpful tool that allows your brain to sort information in a better and faster way. It lets you focus on one specific object of attention, ignoring and tuning out anything unrelated to it. It lets you study the object in question with intense scrutiny, but this comes at the cost of additional information.

Problems with driving and inattentional blindness

While this is not normally a big issue in daily life, it becomes a major problem when you hit the road. After all, multitasking is one of the most important abilities a driver has. Inattentional blindness essentially takes away your ability to do this, rendering you incapable of dividing your attention between all of the different risks that you face.

In essence, it boils down to issues like striking a crossing animal because you focused on the street sign ahead. Note that this can happen to drivers of all ages and experiences, too, unlike the common misconception that it only happens to new or young ones.

With truckers, the consequences are even worse, and may often lead to fatalities. This is why it is important to recognize inattentional blindness when it strikes.

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