What if the Other Driver Claims The Crash Was Caused by Highway Hypnosis?

car on highway at night with traffic aheadMany people have experienced highway hypnosis, such as if they were driving late at night or on a long road trip. This is a trance-like state that increases the risk of a dangerous collision.

In this blog, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis car crash lawyers discuss the dangers of highway hypnosis and how victims of highway hypnosis crashes may be able to seek compensation. While at-fault drivers may cite highway hypnosis as the cause of a collision, this is not a valid defense.

If you were injured in this type of crash, call our experienced law firm to learn how we may be able to help you. There are zero upfront costs, and an initial consultation is 100 percent free.

Local Lawyers. Proven Results. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is Highway Hypnosis/White Line Fever and Why Does it Happen?

Drivers who are on long trips spend a lot of time staring straight ahead at the white lines on the road. This can have a hypnotic effect, making it difficult for drivers to remain consciously aware of their actions. This effect is known as highway hypnosis or white line fever.

Highway hypnosis often happens on long road trips, but it can also happen to drivers who are on the road at night or taking a familiar route.

If you are on the road at night with little to no scenery or traffic, it can be much more difficult to keep your mind on driving. Scenery and traffic can help stimulate drivers’ senses, so they are less likely to lose focus on the road.

If you are on a familiar route, you may not be conscious of your actions because you have driven through the area so many times.

Highway hypnosis is more likely to happen if you are drowsy or operating on little sleep. Driving at times when you are normally asleep or at home can also be dangerous.

Common Symptoms of Highway Hypnosis

One of the most common symptoms of highway hypnosis is forgetting some portion of your trip. Something may cause you to snap out of your trance and you may struggle to remember the last few miles you traveled.

Other symptoms of highway hypnosis include:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Frequent blinking because you are struggling to keep your eyes open
  • Struggling to maintain focus on driving because you are daydreaming
  • Following other cars too closely without realizing it
  • Mental fog
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Struggling to stay in a lane (sometimes running over reflectors causes drivers to snap out of their trance)

What Are the Dangers of Highway Hypnosis?

Driving while you are drowsy, distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous as they inhibit your fine motor skills and your ability to focus on driving. Highway hypnosis can affect drivers in similar ways to drowsiness, distraction or intoxication.

Drivers who are experiencing highway hypnosis may be more likely to:

  • Drift off the road and crash into a fixed object, like a guardrail, road sign or tree
  • Rear-end another car
  • Drift across the center line into oncoming traffic
  • Fail to stay in a lane
  • Drive through a red light
  • Drive through a stop sign
  • Fail to use their turn signal
  • Enter a highway on-ramp going the wrong way
  • Speed

What Types of Crashes Are Often Caused by Highway Hypnosis?

Drivers experiencing some form of mental fog or highway hypnosis may end up causing traffic crashes, such as:

  • Sideswipes
  • T-bone collisions

Can Drivers Use Highway Hypnosis as a Defense?

Highway hypnosis is not a legitimate defense against liability for a car crash. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely. If they are too tired to drive, they need to get off the road. If they cause a crash because of reckless actions while they were in a trance-like state, they can be held liable for the damages they cause.

If you were injured in a highway hypnosis crash, TSR Injury Law may be able to assist you in recovering compensation. In Minnesota, victims can seek medical expenses and other damages from their own car insurance policies. Victims may also be able to seek compensation from the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.

Our experienced lawyers know how to prove driver negligence, which may include evidence of highway hypnosis. For example, our lawyers may be able to prove the at-fault driver was working late into the night and wasn’t able to get adequate sleep before going back out on the road. We may also be able to obtain evidence that the driver was on their way home from a long road trip and would have been struggling to stay awake while driving.

Crash damage could also help lawyers prove the cause of a collision. For example, head-on collisions are often caused by drunk, distracted or drowsy drivers. Black box data from the vehicles can also be accessed and can show a lack of reaction time by the driver that caused the crash.

Reducing the Risk of White Line Fever

There are many steps drivers can take to help reduce the risk of highway hypnosis. For example, try to avoid driving for extended periods after the sun goes down. You may think of yourself as a night owl, but there is a higher risk of a crash at night as the darkness makes it harder to stay focused on driving.

Another step drivers can take is to talk to passengers or listen to more energetic music. However, if you are too tired, louder music and conversation are not going to be enough to combat fatigue. You may need to get off the road or have one of your passengers drive as a safe alternative.

Contact TSR Injury Law For Experienced Legal Help After a Crash

Car crashes can cause significant, sometimes life-changing injuries. These injuries are often the result of another driver’s negligent actions, such as staying on the road for too long and falling into highway hypnosis.

TSR Injury Law has been helping victims of another driver’s negligence for decades. Our law firm has secured more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in a motor vehicle crash.

TSR Injury Law. No Upfront Costs. Contact us today: (612) TSR-TIME.

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