Have you ever driven over a long distance and at one point realized that you don’t remember the last 10, 20 or even 100 miles? Most of us have at one point or another. It can be frightening when you snap back to attention just in time to realize you’re 100 yards from your exit. Even scarier is that this phenomenon doesn’t just happen on the interstates. If you talk about driving with just about anyone, they are sure to come up with a story about how they went to the mall and don’t remember anything after leaving their house.
There are two terms used to describe the act of driving while you’re mind is wandering; they are “highway hypnosis” and “white line fever”. Driving is dangerous enough and allowing your mind to wander too far from the task at hand can only make it more dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. This article fro CarInsuranceQuotes.com is intended to help you avoid highway hypnosis. The following tips will help you keep your mind active and your vehicle in the right lane.
1. Get plenty of rest - The main reason that peoples’ mind tends to wander is fatigue. This is true in the car, the classroom and the boardroom. It is important to get plenty of rest, especially if you’re planning a long road trip. Shoot for seven to eight hours as this is recommended by many experts.
2. Start early - It is much easier to drive in the daylight because your body has to work harder to see in the dark; even if you have your high-beams on. In fact, the constant act of focusing on headlights is a leading cause of highway hypnosis. Plan to start your trip early in the day, allowing enough time to do the majority of your driving while the sun is still in the sky.
3. Keep it cool - Warm temperatures can lure the body into a relaxed state, even sleep. Set the temperature in your vehicle high enough to where you’re comfortable without getting drowsy. In the summer time turn the air conditioner up or open the windows. The constant breeze can help keep you focused and avoid highway hypnosis.
4. Turn up the radio - Keep the radio volume loud enough to be a distraction and listen to more upbeat radio stations. Avoid soft music and the droning conversations of talk radio stations. This will help your mind focus and avoid highway hypnosis.
5. Get out and move - One of the biggest mistakes many drivers make is trying to hold out until they need a fuel stop before they take a break. Sitting in the same position for too long can cause undo strain on your body and is a huge contributor to fatigue and highway hypnosis. Get out at least every hundred miles or so and stretch your legs for a minute or two.
6. Don’t slouch - Thought you were done with this after high school, didn’t you? As it turns out your teachers were right on the money. Bad posture can lead to fatigue and highway hypnosis very quickly. Keep your legs straight and at a forty-five degree angle. Sit with your head erect and your shoulders back and place your buttocks tight against the seat.
7. Change the view - Driving long distances can be monotonous enough on its own. It is important to keep your eyes moving at all times. Staring down the center of your highway lane is the definition of highway hypnosis and should be avoided at all times. Watch the exit signs, glance at billboards from time to time and check your mirrors frequently to keep your eyes from getting fatigued.
8. Go for something different - Another great way to fight highway hypnosis is to keep busy with activities that will not draw your attention from the road. Take a drink of soda, stretch your legs, chew some gum and sing along with the radio. Little things like this will help keep your mind active, especially when the road is long.
Avoid Highway hypnosis by following this advice. Even if you do everything CarInsuranceQuotes.com recommends about avoiding highway hypnosis, however, chances are that you will sooner or later be fighting the hypnosis. If you find yourself in that situation and none of the tips mentioned above is helping that means your body is telling you that is time for a break. Pull off the road as soon as is safe and find a hotel or even a rest area where you can get some sleep. Even a quick twenty minutes could be enough to help you feel refreshed and get you to your destination safely and without feeling the effects of the dreaded highway hypnosis.