Drivers are often told about the dangers of external distractions. We all known that cell phones and distracted drivers in Hollywood and Florida lead to collisions. And we are all told that drunk driving in Hollywood and other communities leads to pedestrian crashes and other types of accidents. The good thing is that there are things that can be done about external distractions – but what happens when those distractions come from within?
It turns out that our minds may be one of the biggest culprits behind motor vehicle accidents. A study by Erie Insurance Group found that Cognitive distraction was five times more common a factor in car accidents when compared with cell phone use. Daydreaming in particular was noted as a key reason behind many rear-end shunt accidents and other types of collisions.
Stopping daydreaming-related car collisions in Hollywood and other cities is difficult for a few reasons:
- Many drivers may not even be aware that they are daydreaming.
- There is no way to legislate daydreaming.
- Daydreaming can occur in any situation. A driver can put away their cell phone, turn off their radio, and practice other good habits to avoid distraction, but they can’t get away from their mind.
So what can drivers do to avoid deadly car accidents caused by internal distraction? According to experts, there are a few things you can do:
1) Change your driving routes.
Taking the same route again and again means that your mind gets so used to the route that it stops noticing the drive at all, according to some behavioral scientists. Changing up your route ensures you don’t go into “auto-pilot” as easily and this can help prevent you from “zoning out.”
2) Chew something crunchy.
Psychology researchers find that chewing something, especially something crunchy, can help keep you more alert. Of course, you don’t want to be distracted by getting food out of its packaging on the road, but a stick of gum or a bite of peanut brittle can help keep you more alert and won’t require you to take your eyes off the road.
3) Get proper sleep and stay sober behind the wheel.
Being tired or inebriated will make it even easier for your mind to wander.
4) Drive defensively.
Imagine the next few moves ahead or try to spot dangers on the road in front of you. Keeping your mind active will help keep it from wandering.
5) Keep your eyes moving.
Staring can help you drift off into a daydream and moving your eyes every 2 seconds or so helps keep you alert. Scanning the road in front of you also makes you a safer driver since it lets you see more potential dangers in the way.
6) Practice good time management.
Having a very stressful schedule can mean that you are focused on your to-do list rather than on driving. That can mean that you are thinking about what you should be doing next and missing important cues that could help you avoid a collision.
7) Do a quick inventory before you step in the car.
Before you snap on your seat belt, run a quick mental check. Are you tired, distracted, angry, or stressed? Are you in a daze or having trouble concentrating? If you cannot keep your focus on driving, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. Many accidents each year could be prevented if drivers treated mental distraction as seriously as they treat drunk driving.
If you have questions about your injuries after a car crash, contact Flaxman Law Group at any time for a free case evaluation.