Distracted driving is a topic that typically centers around intentional actions, such as texting or making a phone call. Distracted drivers are those who intentionally choose that distraction instead of focusing on the road. It’s not hard to see how dangerous this is.
What may surprise you, though, is that one of the main reasons for distraction isn’t intentional at all. It just happens. This makes it very hard for drivers to avoid — and you’ve probably done it yourself.
Getting lost in thought
The issue, quite simply, is getting lost in thought. Others have called this daydreaming or simply referred to it as having your mind wander.
Say you had a rough day at the office. You made a mistake that cost the company money. You can’t stop thinking about whether or not they’re going to fire you. Even when you try to pay attention to the road, your mind keeps going back to this issue.
Or maybe you’re a college student who has a big presentation coming up. You’re nervous. It’s a huge part of your grade and you hate public speaking. As you drive to class, are you really thinking about the safest way to drive in traffic, or are you just thinking about your presentation?
You can see why this is so hard to stop. Other distractions are, as well, but rules can address them — such as rules against texting and driving or rules keeping teenagers from driving with passengers. There are steps that can be taken. But there is no way to make a rule that another driver can’t be lost in thought or cannot let their mind wander.
Have you been injured?
If this is an unavoidable risk, the first thing to do is to make sure you stay focused yourself. Be aware of the risk. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind on the task of driving.
Beyond that, though, you merely have to hope other drivers do the same. If one of them did not and caused an accident while they were daydreaming, you may be able to seek compensation for the medical bills and other costs that you’re now facing.