, The attorneys of Newman Williams PC ,

The difference between inattentional and change blindness 

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Car Accidents

Human perception is often misconstrued as recording the environment like a video camera. Nonetheless, this is not the case. Perception relies on multiple components; the eyes, the nerves and brain signals working together and painting a more complete picture. 

Vision is not infallible, particularly at the relatively high speeds on the roadways. Both intentional and change blindness can affect a driver’s ability to see hazards around them. What is the difference between inattentional and change blindness

Defining change blindness

Change blindness occurs when some sort of physical stimulus temporarily impacts a person’s ability to see properly. This may only happen for a matter of milliseconds, but that’s still enough to cause a road traffic collision. For example, when a person blinks, their vision has been interrupted, even if only for a few milliseconds. Another frequent form of change blindness is glancing to look at a cell phone or other device. This doesn’t mean picking the phone up or even closely looking at the screen. Simply noticing the call or alert and shifting your view for a millisecond or two constitutes change blindness. 

Defining inattentional blindness

As mentioned, human vision is not like a video camera. The environment, stimuli, memory, and eyes all play a role in constructing what a driver sees. Inattentional blindness is akin to a glitch. A person may be looking right at an object or other vehicle, yet their brain fails to process this. This often happens when drivers are looking at cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. 

The main distinction between inattentional and change blindness is that the latter requires a physical obstruction. Nonetheless, they can both impact a driver’s ability to see potential hazards. 

If you have been injured in a crash and believe that the other party was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.     



FindLaw Network