Have you ever caught yourself mindlessly tooling down the highway, oblivious to landmarks and what’s going on with the vehicles in adjacent lanes? That could be the beginning of a dangerous syndrome called “highway hypnosis.”
What happens in these cases also known as “white line fever” is the driver succumbs to a less alert mental state that is neither fully awake nor asleep. While in some cases, they may respond correctly to outside stimuli, they may have no memory of the event or of the many miles they traveled in this state of semi-sleep.
The danger is clear
All motorists should maintain full awareness of their surroundings, what’s happening with other vehicles on the road and any obstacles that could lie ahead. But with highway hypnosis, this state of semiconsciousness can quickly transition to sleeping behind the wheel.
Avert drowsiness before it occurs
Highway hypnosis is often linked to drowsy driving when the motorist failed to get sufficient sleep before setting out for their journey. That alone has a very easy fix — begin each trip only after getting a full eight hours of restful sleep.
Other signs of highway hypnosis
According to the Sleep Foundation, motorists have an enhanced risk of highway hypnosis when:
- They start daydreaming or their thoughts begin wandering
- They have trouble focusing on the task at hand, i.e., driving
- They start to yawn
- They realize they have traveled numerous miles without recalling doing so
- They drift over the center line or the rumble strips along the roads
- They can barely keep their eyes open
Now that you know about this common yet potentially lethal driving condition, you can avoid falling victim to it. But what about other drivers? You can’t control their actions, and that means there’s always a risk out there when you’re on the road.
Were you injured in an auto accident?
If another negligent driver caused your accident and injuries, highway hypnosis may have indeed played a role in the crash. Regardless, learning more about your rights after being injured in an accident can help you decide your strategy when filing your claim for damages.