Highway Hypnosis Can Cause Truck Accidents

Highway Hypnosis Can Cause Truck Accidents

Most people think of hypnosis as something that happens on a stage and involves a magician swinging a pocket watch back and forth in front of another person’s face. However, there is another type of hypnosis that probably just about everyone has experienced.

Highway hypnosis occurs when a motorist zones out behind the wheel. Highway hypnosis is also sometimes referred to as “white line fever” after the white painted lines on the road. When a person drives for long distances on the highway with little or no stopping or stimulation, they can lapse into a relaxed state that is similar to sleeping.

Although anyone can experience highway hypnosis, it’s more common among truck drivers, who spend hours at a time behind the wheel and often drive long routes with repetitive scenery. If you’ve been injured in a truck wreck in Texas, the best thing you can do is speak with a Dallas personal injury lawyer like Attorney Zach Herbert of Herbert & Eberstein, as soon as possible.

How Does Highway Hypnosis Happen?

According to experts, anyone can fall into something of a hypnotized state when they are very relaxed. For example, a train engineer reported feeling like he was in a daze prior to a fatal train derailment in New York City.

Sean Meehan, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan, stated. “When we’re tired, effectively there’s a change in the state of our brain that results in that information just not getting to those centers where we actively, consciously process it.”

This change in state is why some people can even become hypnotized while reading. If you have ever read the same paragraph over and over again because you’re simply not absorbing the text, it’s possible you were experiencing a mild form of hypnotism.

When people experience highway hypnosis, however, they don’t have the benefit of just snapping out of it and safely rereading a page they overlooked. When you’re behind the wheel, highway hypnosis can lead to a serious car accident. A driver who is zoned out has a slower reaction time, and they may not even realize they’re in danger until the accident is in progress.

Highway hypnosis falls under the general umbrella of “drowsy driving.” According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 100,000 drowsy driving car accidents every year, with over 1,500 of those accidents causing a fatality.

Tips for Avoiding Highway Hypnosis

Truck drivers operate huge vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. With a vehicle this massive, it’s incredibly important for truckers to stay alert behind the wheel.

Highway hypnosis can cause a truck driver to space out and cause a catastrophic accident, which is why it’s important for semi-truck drivers to do everything they can to avoid driving drowsy. These tips are also useful for any motorist who drives long distances or boring routes that can lead to highway hypnosis.

Keep Temperatures Cool

Many people get sleepy when they’re warm, and there are a couple of different reasons for this. When you’re too warm, you can actually become dehydrated, which can make you feel tired. This reason is why it’s important for truckers to drink plenty of water.

Being warm also causes your blood pressure to drop, which makes you feel groggy. Warm temperatures also coax many people into feeling cozy and comforted, which is great if you’re trying to sleep but a serious safety hazard when you’re driving a semi-truck.

Take Frequent Breaks

Truck drivers are required to take certain breaks under federal law. However, they should also change up their routine by making stops for quick rest breaks as they drive.

Even if it’s just a few minutes of brisk walking or some light stretching, getting out of the truck and getting your blood flowing can help reduce the drowsiness that comes with driving for too many hours in a row on the highway.

Listen to Music or Talk Radio

Many truckers enjoy listening to music or the radio as they drive. With satellite radio, there are more options than ever for listening to interesting programs and talk radio. You can even download audio books or podcast so you can listen to something interesting or entertaining as you drive.

In some cases, however, music can lull you into drowsiness. If you find this happening, it’s a good idea to switch up your favorite station and try listening to something new or outside your regular interests. This shift can help keep your mind engaged, which will increase blood flow to the brain and stop you from feeling tired.

Avoid Heavy Meals Before Driving

There’s a good reason why many people feel so tired after Thanksgiving and similar gatherings. The body must work overtime to digest a large meal, which can make people feel sleepy.

To stop drowsiness behind the wheel, truckers should avoid heavy, carb-based meals like pasta before they get on the road. Instead, opt for healthier options like salads and fresh fruit. It’s not always easy to find fresh food choices on the road, which is why many truckers pack a cooler with fruit, salad, and healthy menu items before they leave home.

Help for Those Injured in Truck Accidents

If you have been injured in a truck accident, it’s in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced Dallas truck wreck lawyer.  Call the personal injury law firm of Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson, TX today, and schedule a time to review your case with our compassionate team.


Media Contact:

Attorney Zach Herbert

(T): 214-414-3808




  1. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/highway-hypnosis/story?id=21098081
  2. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/why-heat-makes-you-sleepy/

Why Are Truck Accidents on the Rise?

Why Are Truck Accidents on the Rise?

Despite many advances in safety equipment, research shows that truck accidents continue to go up. This is an important subject for everyone on the road, as truck accidents tend to result in more serious injuries than a regular car accident.

Technological advances can only do so much, which is why experts have started looking for reasons behind the high rate of truck accidents, as well as possible ways to reduce the number of tractor-trailer crashes on highways.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you have important legal rights. Because truck accidents involve many complex legal issues, it’s important for you to discuss all of your options with an experienced truck wreck lawyer.

Studies Show Truck Accidents Have Increased

While car accident rates have gone down over the years, the number of truck accidents has climbed steadily upward. According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were more than 3,800 truck-related fatalities in 2015, which is a 22 percent increase since 2009.

Why Truck Accidents Happen

Although truck accidents can happen for a number of different reasons, the experts who research truck safety are always looking for reasons why the rate of accidents has gone up. Research has shown that truck accidents occur due to a number of driver behaviors and, in some cases, certain types of technology.

Driver Distractions

Just like any other motorist, truck drivers can be distracted by phones, the radio, or even navigation systems. Any time a driver’s eyes or attention is off the road, there’s a potential for a serious accident to occur.

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash doubles after taking their eyes off the road for two seconds.

Under federal law, truck drivers are only permitted to use hands-free devices behind the wheel. However, studies show that even hands-free technology can be distracting for a driver, as it takes a driver’s focus off the task of driving.

The reality is that most people can’t multitask. Instead of performing two tasks at once, the brain rapidly switches between the two tasks, and never fully concentrates on one or the other.  

Truck Driver Fatigue

Truckers often work long hours, with little opportunity to get the rest they need. Although federal law limits how long a trucker can drive without mandatory rest periods, the reality is that many trucking companies push their drivers to bend or break the rules.

In trucking, time is money, and delays can result in serious financial consequences. Unfortunately, some trucking companies put the burden on their drivers, which can lead to catastrophic truck accidents

Unfamiliar Routes

Many truckers follow the same route week after week. However, construction, traffic, and detours can sometimes force a truck driver to travel an unfamiliar route. As anyone who has ever driven in an unfamiliar city knows, finding your way around a new area can make you distracted behind the wheel and also lead to accidents.

Equipment Malfunctions

Semi-trucks have a lot of systems and moving parts. Additionally, it’s extremely important for truck drivers to ensure that the loads they’re carrying inside the truck’s trailer are properly balanced. An unbalanced load or a sudden mechanical problem can cause a trucker to lose control. In some cases, a shifting load can even cause a truck to jackknife, putting other motorists in danger.

Impatient Drivers

Many motorists don’t like to drive near semi-trucks, and they might make dangerous maneuvers to get around one. These dangerous maneuvers can put the trucker and the motorist in danger, as trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the truck. When a motorist weaves in and out of traffic or cuts off a truck by merging in front of one, they can cause a serious accident.

Motorists can reduce their risk of being involved in a truck accident by maintaining plenty of space between their vehicle and the semi-truck. It’s also best to avoid driving right next to a truck for an extended period of time, as truckers usually can’t see a car that is driving right next to the truck’s trailer.

Unqualified Truck Drivers

To obtain a commercial driver’s license, an individual must past specific tests. However, it’s up to trucking carriers and trucking schools to ensure the coursework and testing procedures satisfy federal and state requirements. Without a great deal of oversight, there are cases in which an unqualified driver is permitted to get behind the wheel of a semi-truck. There have been many cases in which a trucker’s license was only revoked after the trucker caused a serious accident.  

Working with a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s important to speak with a Dallas truck accident lawyer. These types of cases are usually more complicated than a regular car accident case. An experienced truck accident lawyer will explain your options and help you make informed decisions about your case.     


Media Contact:

Dallas Truck Accident Attorney Zachary Herbert

T: (214) 414-3808


  1. https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks
  2. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license
  3. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/driver-safety/distracted-driving/mobile-phone-restrictions-fact-sheet