Many drivers use their navigation systems while driving to find the nearest gas station, restaurant, or bank. Additionally, drivers use their navigation systems to follow driving directions for pre-programmed destinations. While driving with a navigation system may be helpful and convenient for drivers, it may be dangerous for pedestrians on the road.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, satellite navigation systems can make drivers ‘blind’ to the road. This study indicates that drivers may become blind to pedestrians because the use of a navigation system can cause drivers to hold an image of the screen in their minds, which could result in ignoring what is in front of them.
This effect is known as inattentional blindness—something that diverts a driver’s attention away from what is occurring right in front of him or her to focus on a detail of something the driver has just seen. While a driver’s eyes may still see a pedestrian, this message does not reach the brain because his or her brain is still focusing on the image he or she just saw off of the navigation system.
Professor Nilli Lavie, the leader of the study, said, “Our research would suggest that focusing on remembering the directions we’ve just seen on the screen means that we’re more likely to fail to observe other hazards around us on the road, for example an approaching motorbike or a pedestrian on a crossing, even though we may be ‘looking’ where we’re going.”
This news is cause for concern for pedestrians. If you have been injured in a Georgia pedestrian accident due to a negligent driver not paying attention, please call Shane Smith Law at 770-HURT-999 for a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.