Have you ever felt that you are unable to recollect how you travelled long. You reached your destination, but you didn’t remember the path by which you came. It’s called highway hypnosis. Highway Hypnosis is a trance-like state faced by drivers while driving. It can be a huge risk not only to the driver and the passengers of the vehicle but also to others on the road. It’s a very common problem experienced by long time drivers. Highway hypnosis, is also known as white line fever.

What is highway hypnosis

In simple words, Highway Hypnosis can be explained as a situation where you zone out while driving and do not have a clear memory of what happened. Think of a person is driving on an expressway without any traffic during the night. He has sleeping copassengers. The scenery is monotonous. Slowly, the driver goes into a trance. When the driver comes out of it, he has covered a few kilometres but has no recollection of what happened during that period. Even he doesn’t remember what he saw in that duration. It feels as if he was in some trance.

Why it occurs?

Highway hypnosis occurs at night or evening or you are in long route. The major contributing factors are:

Same roads:
Most existing research on highway hypnosis suggests monotony plays a significant part in this phenomenon. Researchers found that the drivers tended to show more fatigue, measured by large steering movements, while driving on the more monotonous road. Highway hypnosis may happen very quickly on monotonous stretches of road, not only after long periods of driving.

Loss of attention:
Our oculomotor system, or the system that controls eye movements, plays a big part in highway hypnosis. When you drive along a road you know well or stare at a largely unchanging road for a long period of time, your brain begins to depend less on eye, or what you actually see. Instead, your brain begins to depend more on your mental prediction of what you’ll see (extra-retinal feedback).

Feeling of Sleepiness:
Low brain alertness, slows down processing speed. It helps to rely on mental predictability and autopilot instead of real attention.

If you start to notice the warning signs of highway hypnosis, try these tips to increase your alertness.

Here’s how to stop Highway Hypnosis:

  • Sleep well before a long journey.

  • Don’t drive continuously, take breaks every two hours.

  • Have a cup of tea or coffee to stay alert.

  • Try to cover most of the distance during the day if it is a long trip.

  • Maintain a good driving posture throughout the journey.

  • Keep checking the rear-view mirrors.

  • Listen to different soundtracks.

  • Stay hydrated, Don’t overeat and Avoid alcohol.

Highway hypnosis is a common problem. It’s very dangerous for both driver and passenger. It’s one of the commonest cause of road traffic accident

Please read and share!!!!



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