What Do You Mean By Highway Hypnosis And How Can You Avoid It?
Though long drives are as beautiful as a rose that evolved in a garden, sometimes unwanted circumstances can make them risky. While travelling on an expressway, drivers often lose track of time. As a result, they may experience “highway hypnosis” after driving hundreds of miles. It is a condition in which drivers are hypnotized and unable to drive. The situation is alarming and dangerous for all the drivers, co-passengers, and other travellers on that road. Read on to find out more about highway hypnosis and the ways to avoid it.
Meaning of Highway Hypnosis
Highway hypnosis, sometimes known as “driving hypnosis,” occurs when a driver loses consciousness while driving a car and is unable to recall what happened during that particular time. Consider, for instance, a person in a tedious state of mind who is travelling at night on a highway with mundane surroundings and no traffic lights. The driver gradually enters a trance state.
After some time, the driver emerges from hypnosis after travelling a short distance, but without any knowledge of what happened. This means, the driver under hypnosis keeps driving and has complete control over the steering. However, they are completely unaware of everything that is going on around them.
Symptoms of Highway Hypnosis
Usually, a person does not get to know whether they have been hypnotized until they have recovered from the situation. However, you may see certain red flags that are listed below.
- Mental fatigue or an inability to focus
- A heavy mind
- A slow response time
- Heavy eyelids
What Causes Highway Hypnosis
Fatigued and tired drivers are more likely to experience highway hypnosis while driving. However, there are many other factors that can cause highway hypnosis. Some of them are listed below.
On boring stretches of road, highway hypnosis could happen extremely quickly. Highway hypnosis can be brought on by monotonous highways alone; long drives are not necessary.
Lack of Attention:
Your brain begins to rely far less on what it sees and the retinal feedback when you are driving and have your eyes fixed on a virtually continuous road for extended periods of time. Driving on a well-traveled road results in the same circumstance. The oculomotor system instead begins to rely more on mental interpretations of what the eye sees. In other words, the brain shifts to a less-alert phase and concentrates more on the visual stimulus.
If you are sleep deprived while driving, you are more likely to experience highway hypnosis. Fatigue and monotonous roads can both lower mental alertness. The brain switches to autopilot in both situations, depending more on mental stability.
Ways To Avoid Highway Hypnosis
Highway hypnosis may be less hazardous than fatigued driving, but it is still important to avoid it and maintain awareness while operating the vehicle. Some of the ways to avoid highway hypnosis are mentioned below.
- Sleep well before a long trip.
- After every two hours of driving, take short breaks.
- Keep yourself awake by having tea or coffee.
- If the trip is lengthy, try to complete the majority of the distance during the day.
- Stay in a comfortable driving position the entire way.
- Frequently monitor your rear-view mirrors.
- Avoid overeating and stay hydrated.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
Highway hypnosis makes you less awake. You may experience tragic mishaps on the road that seriously harm you, your car, and other passengers. Even when you are in control of the vehicle, it is easy to nod off during a long or boring drive, but try to resist by following the above suggestions.