Have you ever been driving a long way to a set destination when you suddenly arrived, unable to remember exactly how you got there? It’s not as if you have no memory of the drive, but you don’t remember certain landmarks or exactly what actions you took. All you know is that you did arrive.
If this has happened to you, as it has to most people, it’s an example of highway hypnosis. This is a condition that all drivers are susceptible to, but it is worst when you are already a bit tired. You can fall into a type of trance, almost as if you have fallen asleep. Your body keeps going on autopilot, even if you’re not nearly as engaged with the drive as you normally would be.
Why does highway hypnosis happen?
It’s a combination of many factors. For one thing, being tired makes it easier to “zone out” behind the wheel. Additionally, on a long drive, you may feel bored and in need of a distraction. Your mind drifts off because you don’t feel any urgency.
Beyond that, the road itself can sort of lull you into the trance. You have to watch signs and dotted lines go by in a very consistent pattern. You have to listen to that endless hum of the wheels on the pavement. All of this can hypnotize you so that you’re barely paying attention.
What happens if you’re the victim of a zoned-out driver?
Understanding how this happens can help you avoid it, but what if you get hit by another driver whose mind is no longer on the road? If you get injured, you may need to seek financial compensation.