If you have driven a long distance and you don’t even remember how you got to your destination and you may have probably wondered if you were under a spell or lost your mind then you must have experienced highway hypnosis. Highway hypnosis also known as white line fever is a trancelike state which a driver falls into while driving mostly for a long distance. It is a dream like state where it seems like one part of the brain is controlling the task of driving while the other part is focused somewhere else.The driver in question drifts off into the subconscious without being aware of it. Highway hypnosis is a very common phenomenon among drivers, and many of them can attest to the fact that they have zoned off while driving.
While driving you can drift off into the subconscious and your mind wanders off to other things without you being aware of it. Highway hypnosis doesn’t necessarily lead to accidents because you’re not necessarily inattentive but you are not also totally focused on your driving. Doing something as monotonous as driving for a long time is what causes your mind to slip off to things other than your driving. However, highway hypnosis can be as dangerous as driving drunk if you sink too deep into the subconscious, this means you may not be aware of your environment or other road users. Driving needs your maximum attention and drifting off or falling asleep behind the wheel can be very risky.
7 Things You Need To Know About Highway Hypnosis
1.Highway hypnosis is a common phenomenon among drivers
When you experience highway hypnosis don’t assume it is peculiar to you. Drifting off to the subconscious while you drive is not exclusive to you alone and does not mean you are losing your mind. Most people believe they are probably losing their mind when they drive a long distance and fail to remember the last 100 miles or more. Highway hypnosis is not a sign of mental illness, it is simply a normal occurrence that happens to most drivers. You find yourself on a totally different state where your mind is somewhere else while you drive. And most times you wonder how you got to your destination. When you drift off you are not really aware of your environment rather your mind dwells on personal problems or other events. And then you can get back your consciousness after sometime and start wandering what just happened to you.
2.Highway hypnosis can be very dangerous to you and other road users.
Driving needs your maximum concentration and drifting off makes you lose a large amount of concentration. Highway hypnosis is believed to be one of the major causes of road accidents and crashes. By drifting off while driving you may fall asleep and lose focus of the road. Since highway hypnosis is dangerous and not totally under your control you need to try your best to fight it off whatever way you can.
3.There are ways to avoid highway hypnosis.
Yes, Highway hypnosis is a common phenomenon and you may not know when it happens to you however there are still ways to tackle it. You need to stay alert while driving and stay off the wheel when you are stressed out, distressed or anxious. Anxiety, stress and problems are all sources of highway hypnosis. So, once your body is stressed out or down you are likely to drift off to your problems without knowing it. Driving creates just the perfect time for you to zone out and start thinking of problems that are weighing you down.
4.Keep your body & mind alert.
Exercising and having a healthy lifestyle can help to keep your body & mind alert. When your body is alert and agile it is hard for you to drift off but if you hardly exercise, your body& mind get weak easily and susceptible to highway hypnosis.
5.Getting some rest before and during driving can help to prevent highway hypnosis.
Before you set on a long journey try your best to get enough sleep and rest, if you don’t you are likely to drift and fall asleep behind your wheel. Highway hypnosis sets in on a tired body & mind so you have to try to rest. Even while driving you should take breaks to give your body some rest before you continue. If you sit in one position for a long time you are likely to experience highway hypnosis. Move around, stretch your legs or take a drink but don’t stay in a single position for long. Don’t drive while you are asleep, tired or when your stomach is full you are only inviting Highway hypnosis.
6.Try to keep your eyes open and turn up the radio to keep your mind alert.
Keep your eyes open while you drive and try not to focus on the center of the lane for too long. Give your eyes different things to focus on while you drive, check out the scenery, read sign posts and keep your eyes busy. Energy drinks can also help to keep your eyes open and your mind alert .You can also turn up your radio to keep your mind active, sing along with your radio and avoid listening to slow music.
7.Take some time off the road.
If you are experiencing highway hypnosis too often and no prevention technique seems to be working for you then it is time you had some rest or switch to a different driver. If the methods we have listed above does not work for you, then you need to find a place to rest your body & mind before you continue driving.
You May not know when you are experiencing highway hypnosis but if you try the techniques we have listed above you can definitely avoid it. Highway hypnosis though a very common occurrence can be dangerous to you and others, however, a conscious effort to wade it off can help you prevent it and stay safe. Now you have known what highway hypnosis is and how to avoid it, try your best to keep yourself and other road users safe.