Imagine that you’re driving home from work one day when a car ahead of you drifts over the centerline. You honk your horn and they suddenly try to swerve, but they clip your car and you skid off of the road.
Naturally, you’re probably going to assume that that driver was either impaired by alcohol or texting and driving. Since they tried to correct when you honked, that shows that they didn’t realize anything was going wrong until you got their attention.
But there could be a much more innocent reason why they caused the crash. Some studies have found that many distracted drivers have simply gotten lost in thought. Their attention has drifted away from the road, and they’re thinking about something else. This is very dangerous and can make car accidents more likely.
Why does it happen?
One of the main reasons why this happens is just that we drive so much. It becomes boring and routine. The first time someone is behind the wheel, they can sense how dangerous and difficult it is. But once they’ve been driving for years, often on the exact same roads and in the same traffic conditions, they start to feel bored and they lose that sense of urgency about staying safe. To alleviate the boredom, they begin daydreaming, and then they cause an accident.
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