It's called Motion Induced Blindness. It's why RaceCar Drivers [and aircraft pilots] are trained to "keep their heads on a swivel" and their eyes always moving. Take this test and find out why.
The test shows you why you should NEVER fix your gaze on any single object [eg; The back of the racecar in front of you] for more than a few seconds. Because, if you lock onto that one object long enough while you yourself are in motion, your peripheral vision goes blind!
So, besides the car-monitoring logic of checking your gauges, alternating your line of sight between the track and the read-out panel makes you a more alert racer.
Motion Induced Blindness is definitely frightening.
Click the test for a demonstration. The array of blue crosses will be revolving on the black background. The green dot in the center will flash, the three yellow dots around are fixed. Focus only on the green dot for more than a few seconds and the yellow dots disappear - At random, one at a time, in pairs, or all three at once.
In reality, the yellow dots are always there [Look at the yellow dots for a bit to show yourself they're not going anywhere!].
So, next time you are in the racecar, keep your eyes moving. Because while you are fixated on that brake point marker into the turn, the guy behind you just made a move that surprised you because your peripheral vision was put to sleep by you.
[Thanks to Richard Young for the tip]