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Hypnosis while driving or driving without realizing it

Do you ever get to your destination and not remember the details of your driving for part of the trip? Know that you are not alone! This is the Highway Hypnosis, a state that plunges you into your thoughts, but still allows you to drive a vehicle in a relatively safe manner. Almost all drivers experience it and oddly enough, very few accidents are attributed to it.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not fatigue that creates hypnosis while driving. According to researchers, the monotony of its journey would be enough to plunge any driver into a daze, also called subliminal hypnosis. Constant speed and continuous noise can also bring this state of mind, just like a phone call. Chances are, you’ve finished a call in your vehicle one day and found yourself searching for where you’ve been, with no memory whatsoever of the last moments of your drive.

In fact, the hypnosis at the wheel often happens when our attention is diverted from driving the vehicle. The driver’s eyes are wide open, he sees the road, but his brain has fallen into a daze. An obstacle or an unexpected event during your journey can, most of the time, get you out of this state in order to focus on the triggering event.

Researchers have conducted different studies on the subject, and all have been fascinated to discover how the brain is able to manage our inner thoughts while maintaining an outer consciousness related to driving a vehicle. The fact that information can be processed at different levels remains a unique characteristic of humans.

Still according to studies, driving a vehicle in this state of hypnosis is still less dangerous than getting behind the wheel when you are tired or deprived of sleep. It also has nothing to do with driving a vehicle while impaired.

Routine, the main culprit?

If this state can affect us, especially when we realize that we have just driven for several minutes without realizing it, it seems the researchers mention that, in reality, we do dozens of things on a daily basis without really being able to do it. to account for it, they are automatisms. These are mostly things that we are very comfortable with or do frequently like chatting with someone while cooking or talking without having to plan every word in advance.

The more the activity is anchored in a routine, the more we will develop automatisms. It is for these reasons that hypnosis at the wheel is much more common on routes that we know well, very often between work and home.

Blame it on electronic gadgets?

One could also blame the whole panoply of electric gadgets that take our responsibility away from driving a modern vehicle, including intelligent cruise control and lane departure avoidance systems.

We become less engaged in driving, even the brain goes into automatic driving mode. It’s hard to imagine what we’ll do behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with semi-autonomous driving systems.


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