Dangerous commercial truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons. As most truck accident lawyers can attest, distracted driving is considered to be one of the more significant causes of these events. Yet when looking deeper into driver distraction, truck accident attorneys and many others also question the possibility of highway hypnosis.
This concept relates to distracted driving but is a little different. Could highway hypnosis be the cause of some crashes when there is no other logical explanation?
What Is Highway Hypnosis?
Highway hypnosis is something that researchers are beginning to notice as the evidence continues to point to the fact that this is a real state of mind that some drivers actually experience. Although it is thought to be similar to distracted driving truck accidents that occur because a driver’s focus is taken off the road and their driving, this state of mind is very different.
As has been explained to safety advocates and truck accident lawyers, highway hypnosis involves attentive drivers who enter into a trance-like state of mind. In this mental state, drivers can operate their vehicles normally, yet might miss things that are going on around them.
How Does Highway Hypnosis Occur?
The concept of highway hypnosis has been recognized since the 1920s when the phenomenon of people falling into a light trance while driving was first acknowledged. The basic idea suggests that when people engage in monotonous activities that provide minimal mental stimulation, their thoughts can wander far from the task at hand, while their motor functions continue to work perfectly.
Highway hypnosis is the main explanation for times when people report arriving at a destination while not remembering much of their trip. As more truck accident attorneys are learning, this could also explain certain crashes when there is no evidence of driver fatigue, distraction, intoxication, or other causes. It is possible that the driver was in a hypnotic state that prevented him or her from reacting to hazards on the road.
Why Is Highway Hypnosis A Problem?
While this phenomenon has not been widely discussed until recently, truck accident lawyers are finding more research on the topic of highway hypnosis and its role in truck accidents and other crashes. Considering how and why it happens, it is more than reasonable to believe how commercial truck drivers who spend long hours on the road are particularly susceptible to this condition.
Even when paying close attention to traffic and their surroundings, drivers can easily fall into a hypnotic state on long, barren highways when there is little stimulus to keep their minds completely focused. Unfortunately, since this is a condition that can naturally occur in the brain, it is difficult to detect and may also be difficult to prevent. Because so much is unknown about this concept, truck accident attorneys state that highway hypnosis by itself is not currently a valid legal defense.
There is no doubt that commercial truck accidents are complex events. Truck accident lawyers go to great lengths to investigate their causes and determine exactly what happened and why. Although the idea of highway hypnosis is just gaining some attention regarding its relationship to big rig crashes, truck accident attorneys find it is an idea that makes sense.
As more research is done on highway hypnosis, the hope is there will be more information available about this phenomenon and what can be done to prevent it!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810