Daydreaming and Driving

A new study by the Erie Insurance Group finds that daydreaming can significantly contributes to car accident risk.

Psychologists estimate that we daydream anywhere from one-third to half of our waking hours. Daydreaming is a normal part of the human nature. Unfortunately, daydreaming on the road can be an incredibly dangerous habit. In a recent study, researchers found that daydreaming can dramatically increase risk of a fatal car accident.

In this study, the Erie Insurance Group examined 65,000 fatal accidents that occurred in the U.S. in the past two years. The Erie Insurance Group found that you are five times more likely to be in a fatal crash if you were daydreaming than if you were distracted by an electronic device.

Researchers found that daydreaming or being “lost in thought” contributed to 62% of the fatal crashes. Daydreaming affects driving in different ways. Usually, daydreaming does not affect the car speed.  Instead, it affects drivers by delaying reaction time. Drivers that are daydreaming tend to stay at one speed longer instead of slowing down or speeding up when appropriate. Daydreaming drivers may also not respond in time to avoid cars unexpectedly changing lanes in front of them. A driver should constantly scan the road, but a daydreaming driver tends to focus only forward.

To combat daydreaming while driving, remember and recognize the risks of daydreaming while driving. Knowledge and awareness are key to prevent daydreaming while driving. Remind yourself how dangerous driving can be. This can help you remain focused on the road. Drive defensively while on the road. Look for any drivers that look dangerous drivers weaving in and out of traffic. Defensive driving will keep you alert and focused on the road.

Next time you day dream try to figure out what caused you to daydream. This can help you overcome your daydreaming. Take note of what you were doing when you started daydreaming. Were you stuck in traffic? Did you have a lot to do? Realizing what causes you to daydream will help you stop daydreaming.

While driving, it is important to always focus on the road. Do not let your mind wonder. Practice focusing on the road. If you notice your attention slipping, force yourself to focus. Focusing on the road will make it much safer for you to drive on the road. If you find yourself having difficulty focusing, simply pull over. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you are ever in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact an Orange County car accident lawyer.