Inattentional blindness can be deadly for pedestrians

The human brain performs millions of processes every single day. While the eyes do a good job of sending signals to the brain, a busy brain may miss important ones. Inattentional blindness occurs when a person fails to see something that is directly in front of him or her. This phenomenon is often more common in both young and elderly drivers.

If a driver has inattentional blindness, he or she may inadvertently collide with a pedestrian, causing significant injuries or death. Therefore, you may not be able to trust a motorist to see you, even if he or she is looking in your direction. To help minimize your injury risk, you may want to take the following steps.

Boost your visibility

Shiny and colorful objects are often easier to spot than their more subdued counterparts. With this fact in mind, you should consider wearing brightly colored clothing every time you walk. Adding some reflectors to your clothing may also help.

Make eye contact

Before crossing in front of an approaching vehicle, you should try to making eye contact with the driver. When you do, nod or wave and watch for a response. If the driver signals to you, you can probably trust that he or she has seen you.

Avoid busy areas

Inattentional blindness tends to happen in busy places with many mental stimuli. To stay safe, you may want to avoid busy areas. If you must walk in congested places, always use sidewalks or other designated paths. Also, commit to following pedestrian and traffic rules.

Pay attention to your surroundings

You are probably already aware of the risks of distracted driving. However, failing to pay attention when you are walking may also be dangerous. Try to minimize your distractions so you can monitor oncoming traffic and other walking hazards.

As a pedestrian, you do not want to be a surprise to drivers. While a motorist’s inattentional blindness may put your life at risk, you do not have to leave your personal safety to chance.