How To Avoid Highway Hypnosis

How To Avoid Highway Hypnosis – Have you ever had a moment behind the wheel where you lost focus and suddenly snapped back to the present, realizing you weren’t concentrating on the road? You are not alone. We assume that the subconscious mind takes over and is alert to warn of potential dangers. But this kind of conscious brain drain has a name – it’s called ‘highway hypnosis’. And far from being a simple case of our brain taking over, it can actually lead to a serious risk of accident or injury – especially for professional drivers or people who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

Driving can be monotonous, especially when covering long distances. It’s so easy to turn on a playlist or an audiobook and jump into cruise control as the miles pass by almost unnoticed. But this type of road hypnosis is almost a trance state closely related to drowsiness or drowsy driving, and this is where the risk of serious motor vehicle accidents increases. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hypnosis on the highway contributes to over 100,000 accidents and 6,500 deaths each year in the United States alone.

How To Avoid Highway Hypnosis

What exactly is road hypnosis, what causes it and how can we avoid it while driving?

What Is Highway Hypnosis?

Highway hypnosis, also known as mindless driving (DWAM), is the mental state that drivers enter when traveling long distances. This results in them being unaware of their surroundings and driving almost unconsciously. While this is a real and serious mental condition, many drivers assume it’s a natural part of driving where the subconscious mind takes over and stays alert. But this is not necessarily the case.

Highway hypnosis is often accompanied by fatigue or drowsiness, and while it is not the same as daydreaming (as it is usually not accompanied by any sort of visions or illusions), it does result in a large decrease in mental capacity and reaction times. .

While there is no single specific cause for the condition of road hypnosis, there are several contributing factors. A key factor is the monotony of the road, with a very predictable environment, with few incidents on highways and well-known roads being the main reason.

A 2003 study using a driving simulator looked at 56 experienced drivers on two different simulated roads. Both roads were flat, but one had only one type of visual element, pine trees evenly distributed on the road, and the other was designed with more varied visual stimuli. The results showed that drivers showed more signs of tiredness and fatigue on the more monotonous road. Even more surprising was the fact that fatigue peaked after just 20 minutes of driving, showing that it doesn’t take long to succumb to the hypnosis of the road.

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Another potential cause is not getting enough sleep. You are much more likely to experience hypnosis on the road when you are tired. Brain processes are slower and you are much more likely to disconnect and rely on autopilot.

But even if you are not sleepy, inattention of the brain can cause hypnosis down the road. That’s because after a long time on the road, your brain stops relying on retinal feedback from the oculomotor system and starts making more mental predictions about what might happen. In short, you become less alert.

There is no real difference between white line fever and drowsy driving or highway hypnosis. In essence, they are the same. But the confusion arises because while distracted driving is a legitimate condition, it’s not as widely known. White goods fever is a name most commonly used in the trucking community for the loss of mental concentration on long or boring journeys. However, this describes almost perfect driving, with no state of attention or hypnosis on the road.

The most obvious and significant danger of road hypnosis is the risk of car accidents. More than 100,000 automobile accidents each year in the United States alone can be attributed to drowsy driving, with an estimated 6,500 deaths.

All About Highway Hypnosis: Symptoms, Prevention & More

In addition to the risks to oneself (a large percentage of highway hypnosis accidents involve lone drivers pulling off the road on back roads or long highways), there is also significant risk to other drivers and pedestrians.

Incidents of drowsy driving can also lead to increased auto insurance premiums, vehicle and property damage, and loss of driver’s license. And with a truck driver shortage, there is a risk that drivers will be asked to take more trips and longer trips. Even with the advent of self-driving trucks, the dangers of road hypnosis remain a real and constant threat across the industry.

Part of the problem with roadside hypnosis is that, as it results in numbing your senses and awareness, it’s not always easy to spot it when it kicks in. But by being aware of the following symptoms, you can spot the early signs and take steps to avoid hypnosis down the road.

You also need to be aware of the outward signs of road hypnosis, such as if your car hits the speed bump lanes on the side of the road or crosses into other lanes.

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There are several things you can do to avoid road hypnosis and ensure safer driving on the roads. Including:

The more time you spend doing one thing, the more likely your brain is to tune out of what’s going on. Take frequent breaks when behind the wheel, usually every hour or so, where you get out of your vehicle, walk around and refresh your brain with your surroundings. This will help prevent driver fatigue.

Open the window and get some fresh air in the car, turn down the heat, listen to a different radio station or podcast – changing the outside stimulus can help keep the brain from shutting down. You should also try to adjust your sitting position to stand more upright and have good posture.

Rather than driving down the same uninspiring road, try taking a new route with a variety of things to see. This can help keep your brain from shutting down.

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Make sure you get enough sleep before any long trips and eat light food, as a heavy meal can make you drowsy.

For more information about our freight matching platform, explore the site or read the blog for the latest updates from the trucking industry. RVers may be at risk for road hypnosis due to the temptation to drive particularly long distances. It can be a particular hazard for weekend travelers who want to maximize their vacation time by getting to their destination as quickly as possible.

It could also be a risk/temptation for us with very large fuel tanks. The extra fuel capacity can correspond to very long “legs” without the need to stop. (Our 150-gallon tank gives you a range of over 1,000 miles.)

As a former professional bus operator and driving instructor, I spent many years driving long distances, often on schedule and at odd hours. Most critically, I had the lives of 50 or more people in my hands. They trusted me to get them safely to their destination.

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But road hypnosis is a risk for all drivers, especially those who drive for long periods of time.

We need to be brief, but we feel this is an important topic for a VR blog to cover, so let’s cut to the chase.

The term “road hypnosis” is used to describe a situation that leaves the driver in a trance-like state. This is different from drowsy driving or drowsy driving.

Highway hypnosis, sometimes called “white line fever”, is literally an altered state of mind based on something called “automaticity”. It’s when we do something we’ve done repeatedly (in this case, driving) automatically, but our mental attention is really focused on other things.

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In other words, while your mind is elsewhere, you automatically do whatever it takes to drive a car, truck, or trailer down the road.

Wikipedia gives a fuller definition, but suffice it to say that in a state of highway hypnosis you can drive very long distances and not even be able to remember doing so because you were driving in automatic mode while your mind was focused elsewhere. anything other than driving. . .

Ironically, it’s the fact that we’ve driven so many times and are so used to doing it that most of the work requires little obvious attention… at least when things are going well.

But what about when something unexpected happens – an animal runs in front of you; another vehicle doesn’t see it and cuts it off; Or does your vehicle have a blown tire? Defensive driving requires attention, not complacency.

Look Out For These 5 Signs Of Highway Hypnosis

Highway hypnosis is dangerous because it is an altered state of mind that literally takes your focus away from driving and onto something else.

A person can safely drive for many kilometers and for a long period of time in this condition. But when an unexpected event requires you to react immediately, your reaction time drops to a dangerous level.

In a state of highway hypnosis, there is a

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