There is a common misconception amongst people that we are more aware of unusual or unexpected events than common ones because they draw our attention. This belief is, in part, based on our experiences. When we happen to notice something unusual or unexpected, the event is remarkable. We take a mental note of it and remember it. By definition, we are unaware of any events we don’t notice. So, we tend to think we notice unexpected events more than expected ones because those are the ones we remember.
As it turns out, this isn’t true. Humans are more likely to notice events that are expected or consistent with our expectations. This is why one of the leading causes of bike and motorcycle accidents is Inattentional blindness.
What Is Inattentional Blindness?
Inattentional blindness, or perception blindness, is the phenomena in which people do not see people or objects that are directly in front of their face. Even when the thing is right in front of us, in plain sight, our minds are unable to register it.
It has been proven by many studies that we only have a limited capacity to pay attention to all details in our visual field when our minds are focused on something else – like driving.
What Does Inattentional Blindness Have to do With My Bike Accident?
Inattentional blindness can be extremely dangerous for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. By its very definition, if our mind is focused on driving then we become less able to register bicyclists and pedestrians around us. This is particularly true if we are also focused on our car radios, personal cell phones and other distractions while driving.
And, given the fact that we are all more likely to notice things that are consistent with our expectations, failure to see a bicyclist while we are driving in our cars makes sense. Motorists typically do not expect to see a bicyclist pedaling down the highway, but they will probably expect to see bicyclists in rural areas, neighborhoods and big cities where bicycles are common. In fact, studies have shown that the likelihood of bike accidents is more common on highways and areas where drivers do not expect to see bicyclists than in remote towns and cities.
So what’s the moral of the story? Given the human propensity for Inattentional blindness, you should always be on the look-out for bicyclists while driving. This is particularly true when you are driving on streets and in areas where you do not expect to find people riding bikes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a biking accident or any type of car accident, or if your loved one was killed in one, you need a qualified attorney to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Murphy & Garner, LLC today at 678-563-1584.