Have you ever zoned out while driving, unable to remember consciously navigating on the way home?
This phenomenon happens when a person lets his or her mind wander into deep thought. While these moments may be somewhat frequent and are not anything out of the ordinary for drivers, they are not safe. A new study by researchers in France declares that as many as 50% of all car accidents may be linked to the fact that a person was distracted while driving. Many times, these collisions happen because a driver fails to notice changes in speed or other vehicles.
In the French study on this topic, researchers analyzed 955 motorists who had been injured in accidents and determined whether or not each motorist was daydreaming by asking them questions about their thought patterns preceding the accident. The following discoveries were made from those 955 cases:
- In 17% of the accidents, a person was daydreaming or his or her mind was wandering.
- In 50% of the accidents, mind wandering was a factor in the accident but not the direct cause of the collision.
- In about 121 of the accidents, daydreaming seriously disrupted or distracted for the driver.
Researchers claim that a person has a higher chance of being involved in an accident if his or her mind is not on the road when driving. Despite the fact that operating a motor vehicle can feel monotonous and boring, daydreaming can be a small mistake with terrible consequences. When a hazard appears on the road, an unaware driver may not respond in time and crash their car—causing injury to themselves and to others.
There isn't much that can be done to control daydreaming because it is not a distraction that is punishable. Instead, automotive safety innovations, such as lane departure warnings systems, are trying to help drivers who have a tendency to let their minds wander. Technologies like this one loudly alert drivers when they start to lose control of their car.
If you have been the victim of an accident in which the other driver was daydreaming or was distracted, you may be able to seek damages from the party-at-fault. You will want to make sure to collect all evidence from the police reports after the accident and will want to keep all of your medical information organized carefully. If you choose to pursue a case against a negligent truck driver, then this information will be invaluable for winning your case.