Battling Highway Hypnosis: My Personal Encounter on the Samruddhi Mahamarg

Battling Highway Hypnosis: My Personal Encounter on the Samruddhi Mahamarg

Recently, I found myself in a challenging situation where I received some distressing news and had to make an urgent trip to my hometown from Mumbai, covering a staggering 700 km overnight. With no other option but to drive, I embarked on my journey taking the fastest route available, the Samruddhi Mahamarg. Little did I know that this journey would introduce me to the phenomenon of highway hypnosis.

What exactly is highway hypnosis? 🙄

It is a state of trance-like concentration that occurs during extended periods of driving, often on long, monotonous highways. In an attempt to automate routine tasks, our brain enters a state where it operates on autopilot, leading to decreased alertness and increased susceptibility to accidents.

Our vision and actions play a vital role in highway hypnosis. When our vision is fixated on a singular point for a prolonged duration, and our actions become repetitive and mundane, our brain tends to enter this state of hypnosis.

Here are my top 5 strategies I use to encounter this issue on the highways:

1.    Take Regular Breaks: I make sure to take breaks every two hours or more if required. I use these breaks to stretch, hydrate, and refresh my mind.
2.    Use Mindful Techniques: The most effective technique which works best for me is to practice mindfulness while driving. Being aware of my own breath, posture, and the sensations in my body. This heightened awareness keeps my mind actively engaged and reduced the risk of falling into a trance-like state.
3.    Engage Your Senses: I generally keep talking to passengers throughout the journey. It helps me to maintain mental stimulation and keep my senses actively engaged throughout the drive.
4.    Maintain Eye Movement: Instead of fixating my gaze on a single point, I force myself to continue practicing scanning 360, which helps keep my eyes moving and maintains my alertness.  
5.    Stay Well-Rested and Hydrated: I always prioritize getting enough sleep before my scheduled journey however, sometimes you may need to drive in unpredictable situations where keeping yourself hydrated comes in handy to stay alert. Do not force yourself into fatigued driving.

🚦 🛑 Our highways and machines are getting better each day. It is high time for modern Indian drivers to acquire new driving skills catering to current driving needs. ⚠

Each one of us needs to prioritize our safety on the roads and beat highway hypnosis. 📵
Let’s start a conversation and spread awareness about this crucial issue. 🚗

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