What is Highway Hypnosis?

The Dangers Of Highway Hypnosis

Highway hypnosis is a form of drowsy driving and can even be considered equally as dangerous as drunk driving.


Have you ever arrived at a destination without knowing how you got there? White line fever or highway hypnosis is a dissociative condition in which someone experiences a hypnotic state that can leave a driver mentally detached and less aware. When a driver falls into an altered mental state through highway hypnosis, they can respond to events happening around them on the road but may be fully focused on something else.

The term highway hypnosis was coined by G.W Williams in 1963 and was built along the theories of Ernest Hilgard and built upon theories of hypnosis as an altered state of mind.

What are the Dangers of White Line Fever?

When you fall into highway hypnosis, there are several dangerous factors that you should be aware of. Highway hypnosis is a form of drowsy driving and can even be considered equally as dangerous as drunk driving. When you fall into a state of hypnosis behind the wheel, you are immediately putting yourself and other drivers in danger. Highway hypnosis can cause a driver to have a slower reaction time in the event of an unexpected stop or collision. In some cases, someone might merge a little too close to you and if the car in front of you slams on their brakes, your delayed reaction could mean life or death.

Technology and Highway Hypnosis

Luckily, an increase in drowsy driving awareness and the emergence of vehicle safety technologies have helped combat some of the dangers that come with highway hypnosis. Built-in systems such as the Attention Assist, Driver Alert Control (DAC) and the Driver Attention Alert (DAA) have been created by large car manufacturers to help drivers stay alert while behind the wheel. However, it still might not be enough to stop an accident.

What You Can Do To Avoid an Accident

If you experience any of the symptoms of highway hypnosis, it's advisable to stop and rest immediately. A quick power nap or a brisk 5-minute walk can make all the difference. According to Bellevue personal injury lawyer, Greg Colburn, here are a few ways to avoid highway hypnosis:

  • Get plenty of rest prior to your trip
  • Don't forget to take breaks between and stretch out your legs
  • Switch up your entertainment by having podcasts or music in a rotation
  • Keep the air flowing and avoid excessive heat exposure
  • Be cautious when using cruise control

One of the most important aspects of avoiding highway hypnosis is to actively make a conscious effort to be alert and aware while behind the wheel. Breathing exercises can also help your brain stay alert and refreshed.

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the percentage of crashes involving a drowsy driver is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates indicate. Drowsy driving is a precursor to highway hypnosis. AAA recommends that all drivers should not wait until their bodies signal warning signs of drowsiness. Before getting behind the wheel, drivers should get plenty of rest, avoid heavy foods and avoid medications that cause drowsiness or impairment.

Who Can Get Highway Hypnosis?

Long distance commercial truck drivers who travel very long distances are especially susceptible to falling into a state of hypnosis on the road. Signs of highway hypnosis can include muscle stiffness, drifting between lanes or rumble strips and a loss of recollection while traveling on the road. When planning a long distance trip, it is very important to take extra caution and remain alert at all times to avoid a serious or deadly collision.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

@abidickson01 on twitter.com

Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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