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What is Highway Hypnosis?

Highway hypnosis is a trance-like state that impairs driver awareness and increases the risk of accidents. Here’s how to recognize and avoid it.

what is highway hypnosis

Have you ever been driving and suddenly realized you don’t remember the last few miles? If so, you may have experienced highway hypnosis. This phenomenon is more common than most people realize and can be incredibly dangerous if not taken seriously. This article will discuss highway hypnosis, how to recognize it, and how to avoid it. 

What is Highway Hypnosis?

Otherwise referred to as white line fever, highway hypnosis is essentially a trance-like state in which drivers become disoriented and unaware of their surroundings. During this state, drivers can still operate the vehicle but may not be fully aware of their actions as they move through traffic and make turns. This can happen when driving for extended periods on highways or other monotonous roads with few changes in scenery.

Recognizing Highway Hypnosis 

Highway hypnosis can be challenging to recognize because it does not feel like traditional sleepiness. Instead, it feels more like an almost dream-like state that keeps you from staying focused on the road and the surrounding environment. Some signs that you may be experiencing highway hypnosis include: 

  • A dulled sense of awareness
  • Being unable to recall parts of your drive
  • The feeling of floating outside one’s body
  • Missing multiple exits or turns
  • Zoning out for extended periods of time
  • Excessive yawning or heavy eyelids
  • Feeling stiff after arriving at your destination due to lack of movement during the drive

Why Is Highway Hypnosis Dangerous? 

Highway hypnosis is incredibly dangerous because it impairs your ability to react quickly or pay attention to what’s happening around you, increasing your chances of being involved in a crash. Furthermore, since drivers are unable to respond appropriately in time, highway hypnosis accidents tend to cause more severe injuries and fatalities than other types of accidents.

How Can You Avoid Falling Victim To Highway Hypnosis?  

There are several steps that you can take to avoid falling victim to highway hypnosis:  

  • Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep before going on long trips.
  • Take frequent breaks every couple of hours to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue and drowsiness, so drink plenty of water while driving.
  • Roll down the window for fresh air. 
  • Sit up straight
  • Try switching up routes whenever possible to keep yourself engaged and alert during long drives.
  • Use cruise control sparingly. Using cruise control for extended periods can lead to monotony, increasing the risk of highway hypnosis.
  • Avoid driving during times when you’re normally asleep. Doing so can increase the risk of drowsiness and fatigue.
  • Pull over if you start feeling tired or drowsy. 

Highway hypnosis is a real phenomenon that we should not take lightly. Fortunately, familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of this phenomenon/condition and taking precautions to protect yourself can reduce your chances of succumbing to its trance-like effects when driving.

Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been involved in a St. Louis car accident, it’s important to seek legal guidance and representation from an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. At The Hoffmann Law Firm, our team has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – contact us today to schedule a free consultation and protect your rights.


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