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Session 7 - Progress

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STAYING ALERT

When you were pulled over for speeding on the freeway, and the officer asked you if you knew how fast you were going, could you give the answer?  If not, maybe you were experiencing one of two common problems that affect drivers: velocitation, and highway hypnosis.

Velocitation is the tendency to go too fast, unconscious of your speeding because you've become accustomed to the feel of moving at an accelerated pace.  You may have experienced this as you've gone from driving on the freeway to driving on surface streets: at 65 mph, you didn't feel that your car was going fast; but, when you had to slow down to 40 mph, you felt you were at a crawling pace.
Stay awake at the wheel!

Be aware that your mind can become desensitized after doing the same thing for a long time.  Take a break from the freeway on long trips; drive along the service road once in awhile to readjust your sense of motion and speed.

In highway hypnosis, your mind becomes oblivious to your surroundings, and you find yourself driving without being aware of it.  Drowsiness, boredom, or pressing problems can all cause this kind of sleeping while awake.  If you've ever arrived at your destination, and don't remember the drive over, you have experienced a form of highway hypnosis.  The best way to avoid going on "auto-pilot" is to be fresh and awake before you get in your car.  If you start to feel yourself checking out, roll down the windows, turn on the radio, talk to yourself or pull off for coffee.  Avoid watching the lane lines.  If this doesn't help, pull off and get some rest, or call someone to come get you.  Falling asleep at the wheel is a high price to pay for not getting enough sleep.

 
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