They are big red signs to prevent this kind of tragedy. They warn all drivers in foot-tall letters “Wrong Way,” practically screaming at those behind the wheel to enter at the risk of possible death. Apparently a 36-year-old mother and aunt didn’t notice this sign as she turned onto the Taconic State Parkway just north of New York Sunday afternoon.
After driving down the road for a ways, the van the mother was driving collided with another vehicle, killing eight people in a wreck suited for Hollywood.
Why did this mom not pay attention to the sign? That is the question the police and family members are asking right now. While I don’t know the majority of the facts, like whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but I do have a theory.
I think the mom just didn’t see the sign. Researchers define this as “inattentional blindness.”
“We perceive and remember only those objects and details that receive focused attention,” said Daniel Simons, a psychology professor.
If the mother was not focused on the task at hand, driving, the there is a good possiblity that the sign didn’t even register in her brain. With a van full of children, it would of been easy for the mom to be distracted by an argument about a toy or a brother pinching a sister.
As the mother turned the wrong way onto the road, she could of had no idea that she was hurtling towards an unpleasant death. So stop reading this blog on your phone and start paying attention to the road!