The Dangers Of ‘Autopilot’

According to research recently published by the Automobile Association (AA), 1 in 7 drivers often experience episodes where they are unable to recall the last several minutes during a drive. These episodes are sometimes referred to as ‘driving on autopilot’ and most often affect drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.

While these episodes may seem harmless, they actually reflect periods of lax attention while driving and are potentially hazardous. In fact, a recent government survey revealed that the most common factor identified by police officers in motor vehicle accidents was the failure to look properly. In addition, inattention ranked as the most common cause for fatal accidents.

Therefore, it is vital that you stay focused on the road, your surroundings and other drivers in order to identify hazards. If you feel that your focus has begun to drift or that you are starting to lose track of time, stop at a lay-by and take a 15-minute break—preferably with a quick stretch and a walk.

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