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Highway Hypnosis: Dangers of Distracted Driving

Also referred to as whiteline fever, highway hypnosis is a term used to describe a mental state during which drivers seemingly get lost in thought and lose focus while still being able to maintain their vehicle safely. The term highway hypnosis was coined more than a century ago, and it is still somewhat controversial and not fully understood. 

What is well-established is that distracted driving is dangerous for drivers. All motorists need to keep their attention on the road. An active distraction—such as a cell phone—can make it difficult or even impossible for a driver to act safely. In this article, our Rockford car crash attorneys highlight the dangers of distracted driving in Illinois. 

Know the RIsk: Distracted Driving is Extremely Dangerous

Distracted driving is dangerous driving. Thousands of people are killed, and tens of thousands are seriously hurt in the U.S. due to distracted driving each year. Notably, distractions may interfere with a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely when they seemingly are not fully focused on the road. This may be related to the concept of highway hypnosis. 

Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that motorists have somewhat of a “sixth sense” when driving. In effect, this sense allows most people to operate a motor vehicle safely even when their mind wanders off for a few minutes at a time. Alarmingly, the study concluded that texting while driving completely blunts this sixth sense. 

In other words, most people can operate a vehicle safely for hours at a time, even if they seemingly lose focus. However, the ability to do so evaporates when there are distractions. A person who is texting or driving or otherwise distracted cannot operate a vehicle in a safe manner. They are putting themselves and everyone else on the road at extreme risk. 

Recovering Compensation After a Distracted Driving Crash

Illinois is a fault-based auto accident state. Whoever is deemed responsible for a crash is liable for the damage. Distracted driving is negligent driving. You can hold a distracted motorist liable for the full extent of your economic and intangible damages. Financial compensation may be recovered for: 

  • Automotive repairs; 
  • Hospital and other medical costs;
  • Lost wages and loss of earning ability; 
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Disability; 
  • Disfigurement; and
  • Wrongful death. 

Call Our Illinois Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Today

At Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd., our Illinois auto accident attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to take on distracted driving claims. If you or someone in your family was hurt in a crash with a distracted driver, we can help. Contact us today for your free review. From our offices in Streator and Rockford, we handle distracted driving claims throughout the area, including in LaSalle County, Livingston County, Winnebago County, Dekalb County, Lee County, and Ogle County. 

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