What Is Meant by Highway Hypnosis and its Prevention?

Highway hypnosis refers to a trance-like condition experienced by drivers after driving for a highly long time or due to long roads that remain unchanged. It also occurs when navigation goes to auto-pilot mode. Highway hypnosis is also known as “white line fever” because the white lines on roads lead to causing the effect of hypnotism. After entering this state, drivers tend to operate subconsciously and stop using their conscious and active brains, resulting in accidents. Contact a Seattle personal injury attorney to get legal help for automobile accidents.

What happens in highway hypnosis?

White line fever or hypnosis lasts for various duration, ranging from minutes to even hours. During this time, the drivers may arrive at their destination without any memories of the journey. They do not remember any signals, brakes, or road signs during that time. Usually, this happens because the brain is not in an entirely aware or conscious state to focus on the road. The drivers cannot react swiftly during this condition, and the chances of an accident rise significantly. This fever or state of hypnosis comes in the form of distracted driving only. It often results in crashes and accidents.

What causes Highway Hypnosis?

Automaticity is the leading cause of entering highway hypnosis. When the brain learns a new task, it memorizes the strategy and operation based on the outcome of the task. With time and automaticity, the act of learning develops into memorizing information to give an automatic response.

After continuous action practice, our brains tend to stop waiting for conscious and deliberate decisions and do things automatically due to repetitive actions.

After driving for too long, the brain tends to stop waiting for signals and react automatically as it enters autopilot mode. During this phase, the brain does not wait for the interpretation of information in order to act accordingly. Instead, it acts out of habit and gives an automated response.

Prevention of highway hypnosis and accidents caused by it

Even though it is highly common among drivers, it is possible to prevent highway hypnosis. Follow these tips to avoid any accidents caused by white line fever.

  • Make sure to get good sleep if you drive for a long time. You must keep your sleep schedule intact if you are a driver.
  • Avoid driving during the late hours of the night or too early in the morning as the light may not be sufficient to drive safely.
  • Keep your posture correct while driving. Your head must be up, and your shoulders must relax at the back while driving.
  • Take breaks and even nap if you are too tired or drowsy to drive.
  • If you are going for a long drive, try to get a backup drive so you can switch and rest. In this way, no one will face the extremities of the exhaustion caused by driving for an extended period.

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