For many people, their car is their sanctuary. They can get into it after a hard day at work or a stressful moment at home and switch off from it all.
The problem is that switching off is not compatible with safe driving. When you’re driving, what you need to be doing is focusing intently on everything happening on the road around you. While “checking out” could help you leave your troubles behind, switching off too much could cause you to crash and leave you with even greater worries.
The State Patrol up in Colorado has been so concerned about this that they started counting how many crashes were caused by drivers daydreaming. They reckon it was responsible for at least 30 crashes in 2021 and 76 in 2022.
The lights are on, but nobody’s home
Some things can make daydreaming more likely. For instance, alcohol, certain prescription medications or a lack of sleep. It can lead to situations where a driver is staring straight ahead with their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, but their mind is elsewhere. They could be slow to register and react to something that happens in front of them or miss seeing it altogether. If that something is a child running into the road to fetch their ball, a car pulling out from a parking space or the motorcycle in front braking, they may run straight into them.
Try to keep your mind on the road whenever you drive because there are plenty of drivers out there who won’t be. If one of them crashes into you, learning how to hold them responsible can help you to manage how costly the aftermath of this situation may prove to be.