The Erie Insurance Group took a look at more than 65 000 fatal traffic accidents that took place between 2010 and 2011. The study found that about 62% of the one in ten accidents attributed to distracted driving were linked to daydreaming. Researchers concluded that this meant that daydreaming was five times more often linked to collisions than mobile devices.
Daydreaming is a problem for a number of reasons:
•Drivers may not be aware that they are doing it
•Daydreaming removes focus from driving, making drivers miss important information right in front of them
•There is no way to legislate against daydreaming to keep roads safer
•Drivers are not often aware of the dangers of daydreaming
•Daydreaming means that drivers are sometimes so distracted that they cannot remember entire parts of their drive
According to experts, there are several things that can be done to prevent collisions caused by distracted driving:
1) Get plenty of rest before driving. Feeling tired can be dangerous and can make it harder to focus, making it harder to avoid daydreaming. Fatigued driving has also been linked to many traffic accidents in Homestead across the country, which is another good reason to get plenty of rest before you drive.
2) Consider the possible next moves of drivers and pedestrians around you. If you don’t occupy your mind with driving, it’s all too easy to start thinking of something else, losing focus. Planning ahead and thinking three moves ahead will ensure you are thinking about driving – not something that distracts you.
3) Keep your eyes moving. Studies have shown that keeping your eyes in one place allows you to miss more visual cues, which can lead to a pedestrian accident or another type of traffic accident.
4) Be aware of the dangers of daydreaming. Many people see it is a harmless activity but the recent study does suggest just how dangerous it can be. Knowing the danger and catching yourself if you find your mind wandering can make a big difference.
5) Change up your routine and daily drive. Taking the same route can make it easier for your mind to wander, since you may be so familiar and bored with the usual scenery.
6) Chew something, especially something brittle or crunchy. Some studies have suggested that this can help curb daydreaming and loss of focus.
7) Take frequent breaks on longer drives. Longer drives are a challenge because it is difficult to focus on the road and on your driving when you have been sitting in the car and trying to focus for long periods of time. Taking breaks allows you to stretch, relax, and even eat or drink something so that you can start on the next leg of your journey feeling refreshed.
8) If you have trouble with daydreaming, set up a system to catch yourself before you lose focus. For example, you might want to check in with yourself at every stop sign or traffic light to see whether you have been daydreaming or you may want to check in at the end of every song on the radio. If you find yourself daydreaming, bring your focus back to driving.
Of course, commercial truck drivers may need to work even harder to stay aware of the risks of daydreaming. They are on the road all day, in some cases, and this can make it easier to daydream or lose focus. Staying completely focused over a long drive is especially difficult because focus takes a lot of mental agility. Drivers who daydream and otherwise allow themselves to get distracted are at greater risk of trucking accidents in Homestead and other communities.
Have you been injured in a truck accident in South Florida? Contact Flaxman Law Group to arrange a free, no obligation case review to discuss your specific situation with a lawyer.