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The Dangers of Highway Hypnosis During Mudik & How to Overcome It
10 April, 2023
When driving long distances, especially when going home (re: mudik) for Eid, we may have experienced an incident where we suddenly felt hypnotized and didn't realize we had traveled quite a distance. This condition is called highway hypnosis or highway hypnosis.
Highway hypnosis is a dangerous situation for drivers when driving for long periods. This can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Can it be avoided? The following explains the meaning, danger, and how to overcome them.
What Is Highway Hypnosis?
Highway hypnosis is when a person experiences boredom and monotony while driving on a straight highway without much change. This condition causes a person's brain to no longer be active and focused while driving, and results in the driver not realizing that he has traveled long distances without realizing it.
In this state, the driver's conscious mind seems to be focused on other things while still being able to respond safely and correctly to the situation around him. This condition is a form of automation in mental conditions.
Actually, this condition occurs not only when driving, but also in other routine activities such as work or walking. Some signs that can indicate that someone is experiencing highway hypnosis include:
- Loss of concentration or confusion
- Drifting thoughts
- Dull or dazed feeling
- Slow reaction time
- Heavy eyelids or frequent blinking
As reported by Healthline, here are several factors that can cause highway hypnosis, including:
- Monotonous walk
- Lack of brain attention
- Fatigue or lack of sleep
The Dangers of Highway Hypnosis
This condition can be dangerous because it can increase the risk of road accidents. The sign is similar to a drowsy driver. Although trivial, cases of drowsy drivers, citing caraccidenthelp.com, have caused around 100,000 car accidents yearly and killed around 6,500 people.
Like driving a vehicle while drowsy, conditions like this also reduce your ability to respond to unexpected situations that arise on the road. This condition has a serious danger if not handled properly. The following are some of the dangers:
- Serious accident: can make the driver unaware of the conditions around him, thereby increasing the risk of an accident.
- Loss of control: When this condition occurs, the driver is no longer focused and active in driving the car, causing the driver to lose control of the car.
- Increases risk of stress: Conditions can cause drivers to feel tired and stressed, increasing the risk of developing stress while driving.
How to Prevent Highway Hypnosis
If you experience this condition, the first thing you should do is realize that you are in an unconscious and dangerous state. Then, you should find a safe place to rest and rest. Don't force yourself to keep driving if you feel tired or bored.
Also, avoid driving too long at one time. Ideally, don't drive more than 2-3 hours at a time, and take 15-30 minute breaks every 2-3 hours to avoid this dangerous condition.
Using safety features in your car can also help prevent highway hypnosis from occurring. Almaz Hybrid is one of Wuling's hybrid cars with ADAS safety feature technology equipped with SDW (Safe Distance Warning) and LDW (Lane Departure Warning). This feature helps drivers improve safety and be alert when driving in various road conditions. The SDW feature can provide a warning if the distance to the vehicle in front is too close, while the LDW feature can provide a warning if the vehicle accidentally leaves the lane.
You can also do several things to increase your alertness while driving, such as:
- Changing the position of the seat or steering wheel
- Listen to attention-grabbing music or podcasts
- Chat with passengers or call someone via a hands-free device
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or other substances that can affect your ability to drive
Apart from that, you can also prevent highway hypnosis by:
- Ensure to get enough sleep before driving
- Make travel plans and know the route and traffic conditions
- Drive at times that are less busy or boring
In conclusion, highway hypnosis is a dangerous situation for drivers when driving for a long time which can lead to decreased concentration, traffic accidents, loss of concentration, and feelings of boredom. To prevent this from happening, there are several ways you can do it, namely getting enough rest, avoiding driving too long at one time, and using car safety features such as SDW or LDW. In this case, Almaz Hybrid can be a safe and comfortable car choice for your journey.
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