I thought I would share something about this topic, actually we had an automotive expert over at our organisation for our "Road Safety Awareness ". He gave us some good advice and insights.
Just imagine a scenario, you are driving down the road and out of the blue some vehicle/pedestrian jumps up towards your left or right. You get panicked and try to take some corrective action which can help or go against you. Now there are genuine situations where you really didn't see that car sneaking up on you, but you would be surprised to know that in some of the cases, that car/pedestrian was already there and you didn't notice. Agreed, we all have faced those situations before. Now here is why you missed spotting that car.
What happens is when you drive continuously for long duration or even for shorter periods, our eyes are mostly focused on the area ahead/in front of our car. It is a natural thing to do and that's the direction our car is travelling.
But while doing so, our peripheral vision takes a beating. For people who don't know what peripheral vision is, its the things we see from the corner of our eye, but not squinting. This part of the vision is always there, its more or like the viewing angles for an LCD Monitor. With our eyes, the more we focus on a particular area the more we able to see the detail.
Coming back to the topic, the reason you missed that car, is because your eyes were fixed only on the area ahead. Its like a continuous gaze, this results in reduced peripheral vision.
There are ways to overcome this. Instead of fixing your gaze/focus on the road/area ahead of your car, what you can do is scan with your eyes. A good example would be the way we guys check out the girls in our college, now its the time use those skills on the road
. An intermittent scan is the ideal way, when you do that your eyes will have a broad viewing area and you can easily spot objects that once you thought, suddenly appeared out of no where.
Folks who play video games which involves racing/shooting (FPS), you know games like Need For Speed or Call of Duty. These people have higher reflexes and can spot objects at a faster rate, because your eyes scan a lot of objects rapidly.Some of these facts are published in variety of health magazines.
These were some of the insights that I got from that session we had at our organisation. As for the video game part, I can personally vouch for that, as I have been an active gamer all through my life, it is true to some extent.
Folks, your views/additions to this article is much appreciated. Keep them coming!!