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Is highway hypnosis real?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2020 | Automobile Accidents

You may have experienced highway hypnosis when behind the wheel. Think back to a time when you were going somewhere and it seemed like suddenly you had traveled a long way without remembering the actual drive. That is an example of highway hypnosis. Your mind wandered, and you were not paying attention to what you were doing. Now think about everything that could have gone wrong while you were in this state. That is why this phenomenon is so dangerous.

According to The Atlantic, highway hypnosis is more than zoning out. It could also lead to hallucinations where you see things that are not there. Some link highway hypnosis to mundane driving conditions. For example, it is very easy to zone out when driving a familiar stretch of roadway, especially if it is a straight road with little traffic.

Historical issues

Highway hypnosis is so dangerous because it takes your mind off the task of driving and puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. It has been happening since the 1920s, and it became a serious issue, leading to multiple accidents, in the 1950s. It is still an issue, but it is one that the public does not often talk about.

Stopping the issue

During the peak of the problem, experts tried to advise people on how to avoid highway hypnosis by making themselves less comfortable when driving. Transportation experts worked to make changes to the road to help reduce monotony, such as billboards and changing the lines on roadways.

However, while these changes may have helped to reduce the numbers, highway hypnosis still occurs. It makes it essential that when you get behind the wheel your focus is completely on driving and you make sure you pay attention and not zone out. You need to find what works for you and make sure that you find a way to stay alert and mindful when behind the wheel.