Most people take driving as a right rather than a privilege. We become so accustomed to our style of driving that we don’t ever consider how we could improve it – that is until there’s a problem. You only consider how you might drive better when you get into an accident or have a near collision. The best way to minimize your crash risk is to drive with a relaxed focus, allowing you to remain focused and organized but not uptight and anxious.
A lot of the time, drivers go into what is called “highway hypnosis,” a trance-like state that can alter their reaction time. It usually happens on long stretches of highway but can also occur on routine travel routes – like going to work or school. The monotony of the road slows down the brain, essentially putting a driver on autopilot and setting them up for vehicle accidents.
When you aren’t paying attention, you don’t notice things like the 18-wheeler in the right lane moving toward you, or the vehicles slowing in front of you. Avoiding highway hypnosis is the best way to ensure you minimize your risk of crashes.
There are several ways you can evade highway hypnosis, including:
- Having caffeine
- Taking a break
- Singing loudly or talking
- Playing loud music
- Driving with the windows down
- Driving with your seat straight up
- Trying a new route
- Listening to a new playlist
Another way to minimize your risk of an accident and maintain a relaxed focus is to drive without using your phone. Between 16-17% of drivers admit to using their phones while driving, despite it lessening their attention and awareness by almost 37%. In fact, texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while under the influence as it lowers your response rate time as if you had consumed four beers in one hour.
Driving while using your phone puts you at risk for a crash and the drivers and pedestrians around you at risk. Putting your phone down while driving will ensure you do not lower your response rate time and can pay attention to the road.
Stop-Multitasking While Driving
In today’s society, being in a rush is something most people are accustomed to. We have so many responsibilities that we often use the time we’re driving to multitask. For instance, think about how often you hop in the car and use that time to listen to a work call or put on your makeup. But multitasking can reduce productivity and concentration by 40%.
If you are driving and multitasking, your focus is not on the environment around you but on the task you are trying to accomplish while driving. Ensuring that your driving time is not spent on anything other than paying attention to the road ahead of you and the song on the radio will reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
Practice Deep-Breathing Techniques
In addition to reducing your distractions by not multitasking or using your phone while driving, learning mindfulness is a great way to learn how to drive in a relaxed but focused state of mind.
Mindfulness is simply noticing how your body feels or how your environment appears in that moment. By noticing these things, you will become more attuned to the world around you and what could impact your trip. Ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your driving include:
- Take deep breaths before starting the car.
- Make eye contact with other drivers.
- Loosen your foot on the gas and take a deep breath.
- Bring your attention back to the car whenever you notice your thoughts beginning to wander.
Cullotta Bravo Law Group Can Help
Driving while distracted can have disastrous effects on you and those around you. Making sure to stay in a state of relaxed focus is the best way to avoid a crash. But if you are involved in an accident, whether you are at fault or not, Cullotta Bravo Law Group can help. The attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law Group have years of experience helping individuals involved in personal injury accidents. They will work hard to guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Call 630-898-7800 today or schedule a consultation online.