If you’ve never been behind the wheel when you were feeling drowsy, you’re one of the very few. Driving while tired is as common as going a few miles per hour over the speed limit. Although doing so many not be right, it happens and is actually considered the norm. And although you may not feel like you are tired enough to actually fall asleep while driving, you could experience something else that can put you in danger, and it’s called highway hypnosis.
Have You Suffered From Highway Hypnosis?
Although highway hypnosis may sound like something you pay a fortune teller for on the side of the road, it is an actual problem that can cause serious consequences. Highway hypnosis often occurs to drivers who have been behind the wheel for long periods of time and when actions other than driving straight ahead, like the use of traffic signals or even turning, aren’t needed. The drivers can feel like they are in a “daze” and don’t come out of it until something jostles them, like hitting a bump or getting cut off by another driver. As you may imagine, being numb to your surroundings or in a perpetual daydream while you are operating a vehicle can have major consequences.
A person experiencing highway hypnosis is actually suffering from momentary slowed brain activity, meaning that different parts of the brain aren’t communicating with each other as frequently as they would if the person was completely focused and wide awake. The brain activity of those under highway hypnosis is actually similar to someone who is sleeping, which is quite frightening.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving and Highway Hypnosis
You likely already know that drowsy driving is dangerous. In fact, some believe that it’s just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. But are you aware of just how common this act is? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is the cause of more than 100,000 crashes each year and results in 1,550 deaths. Highway hypnosis often gets included in these statistics, as the act falls under the “driving while tired” category.
One aspect that is extremely disturbing is that drivers can fall into the hypnosis and not even know it until it is too late. They can travel for many miles and not even know that they’ve traveled such a distance. This means that they may not see the traffic light turning red, or the vehicle that is about to turn in front of them, or even that traffic has come to a sudden stop. As you may imagine, such occurrences could mean injury for you.
Preventing Highway Hypnosis
You can’t always fully prevent highway hypnosis, but you can take measures that may reduce the likelihood of it happening. Planning ahead and getting at least six hours of sleep before you get on the road is ideal. However, you know what amount of sleep works best for you and getting a good night’s rest before your journey can prevent you from succumbing to the hypnosis. Additionally, take a break from driving about every 90 minutes. Get out of your vehicle and stretch or go for a walk to get your body and mind awake. Or if you’re driving with another person, take turns behind the wheel. And although you may think that listening to music will keep your mind stimulated and prevent it from slipping into hypnosis, it may have the opposite effect.
When Highway Hypnosis Causes Your Injuries
If the driver who hit you was drowsy or dazed at the time of the collision, you may be entitled to receive compensation that can pay for your injuries, vehicle repairs, and time lost from working because of the accident. Unless you have the help of an experienced legal team that specializes in car accidents in Austin, you may be held responsible for some of the costs, which isn’t fair. The lawyers of Wayne Wright will fight for your rights and attempt to get you the justice you deserve. Schedule your appointment today to speak with someone about your situation by calling 800-237-3334.