Have you ever read something line by line only to realize a few minutes later that you did not comprehend any of it? If so, you are not alone. Nearly everyone experiences this kind of dazed mental state on occasion.
When it happens during a conference call, business meeting, or college lecture, it can be a minor annoyance, but if it happens when you are behind the wheel, it is downright dangerous. Driving without attention mode (DWAM), or what is often called “highway hypnosis,” is the act of operating a motor vehicle without consciously processing everything around you.
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According to ABC News, people under highway hypnosis are experiencing reduced brain activity that is on par with the cognitive functioning of someone who is sleeping. This can result in slowed reaction times, thereby increasing the risk of a catastrophic collision.
If you were hurt in a car accident with a drowsy or distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact Laborde Earles Law Firm to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney in Marksville.
Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation.
When Does Highway Hypnosis Typically Occur?
People who are bored or fatigued are more likely to lapse into highway hypnosis. For this reason, motorists often experience DWAM on long road trips or when traveling a route that they take often, like their daily commute.
How Can You Avoid Falling Victim to Highway Hypnosis?
Highway hypnosis is different from drowsy driving because it does not manifest symptoms associated with fatigue, like yawning or heavy eyelids. When you have highway hypnosis, you do not feel especially tired, and your brain is fully functional.
As a result, motorists who are suffering from DWAM may not even realize it. This is what makes highway hypnosis so dangerous: Since people do not realize they are experiencing it, they will not take measures to combat it.
Thus, it is wise to prevent DWAM altogether. You can avoid falling victim to highway hypnosis by:
- Taking a break or switching drivers every 90 minutes;
- Keeping the temperature in your vehicle on the lower end and turning off the heated seat;
- Calling a friend on a hands-free device and partaking in a lively and engaging conversation;
- Limiting your daily mileage;
- Checking your mirrors often and constantly scanning your surroundings to keep your eyes moving; and
- Making a pit stop to stretch your legs and grab a caffeinated beverage or protein-packed snack.
Unfortunately, even if you take measures to avoid highway hypnosis, you cannot rely on other motorists to do the same. If you sustained injuries in a crash with a drowsy or distracted driver, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm.
A Marksville personal injury lawyer will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, calculate damages, and negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation.