What is Highway Hypnosis?

What is Highway Hypnosis?

What is Highway Hypnosis?

By Jan Hoen

Have you ever found yourself behind the wheel and realized you covered significant distances without being aware of it? This is a phenomenon known as highway hypnosis. While it may seem relatively harmless, it poses major hazards to you, your passengers, and others on the road. Our Hampton auto accident lawyer explains common causes of highway hypnosis and how to reduce your risks. 

Common Causes of Highway Hypnosis and How it Endangers Drivers in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports that an average of over 120,000 car accidents happen throughout the state each year. Distracted driving is a leading cause and involves anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the steering wheel, or your mind off the important task of driving. 

Highway hypnosis is a common type of distraction. It can happen when taking roads you travel regularly for work and when running errands or when driving long distances, such as on vacations or other road trips. Healthline reports that the vast majority of drivers report experiencing highway hypnosis at some point in their travels. Common causes include: 

  • Traveling monotonous roads, such as long stretches of highway or interstates;
  • Traveling the same roads regularly, which can cause you to go on a sort of mental auto-pilot;
  • Being tired, which increases the risks of zoning out;
  • Driver inattention, such as talking to passengers, listening to music or audiobooks, or simply allowing your mind to wander. 

Unfortunately, anything that diverts attention for even a few minutes is dangerous. Highway hypnosis can cause you to drift into other lanes, run red lights or stop signs, go over the speed limit, or fail to respond properly to sudden stopped traffic and other unexpected events on your trip. 

Signs of Highway Hypnosis and How to Protect Yourself on the Road

Most drivers are not aware of when highway hypnosis happens. Warning signs include yawning, watering eyes, frequent blinking, and difficulty focusing. To prevent it, follow these tips: 

  • Get plenty of sleep before long drives;
  • Keep your window slightly open, allowing fresh air to get in;
  • Avoid listening to any type of soothing or monotonous music;
  • Switch up your usual driving routes;
  • Take frequent breaks during long trips;
  • Avoid using cruise control.

Be aware of signs other drivers may be suffering from highway hypnosis, such as swerving in and out of lanes and going over or under the speed limit. If an auto accident in Hampton does occur, notify law enforcement, get contact information for everyone involved, take photos at the scene, and seek medical attention immediately. 

Get Our Hampton Automobile Accident Lawyer on Your Side

At Hampton Injury Law, PLC, we help car accident victims hold at-fault drivers accountable for highway hypnosis and other dangerous driving behaviors. To get the compensation you need to recover, get our experienced Hampton automobile accident lawyer on your side. Call or contact us online and request a case evaluation today. 

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