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Does inattentional blindness impact bicyclist safety?

California bicyclists have a lot to contend with on the road. Not only do you need to watch out for pedestrians, but cars can pose a threat to you, too. Every other vehicle on the road has more power than you do. This means you are at the greatest risk for serious injury. 

Today, we will look at a psychological phenomenon that may further impact your safety. It is inattentional blindness, and it can affect anyone. 

Narrowed focus in daily life 

The American Psychological Association discusses inattentional blindness as a psychological phenomenon. In daily life, this phenomenon is important to your ability to function. It lets you focus on the important details of something and tune out the rest. If you remembered every detail of everything around you at all times, it would overwhelm you. Inattentional blindness “blinds” you to things you are not focusing on. 

The dangers of narrowed focus on the road 

Unfortunately, inattentional blindness in a driver is very risky. In essence, it is a type of driver distraction. Distracted drivers cause a lot of harm to other people on the road. Some studies imply that newer drivers are at the greatest risk. But since this is a natural phenomenon, any driver may experience it at any time. 

The most vulnerable victims are motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. You have less protection. This means crashes involving you tend to have higher rates of serious or lethal injury. Also, drivers already have trouble spotting you without distraction. Inattentional blindness makes them even less likely to see you. Thus, inattentional blindness acts as a big risk to bicyclist safety on a whole.