CSP: When your daydream turns into a nightmare

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 12:06 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - According to the Colorado State Patrol, one of the leading causes of car accidents is a wandering mind.

CSP determined that intentional blindness or daydreaming caused crashes in Colorado more than doubled last year, jumping from 30 in 2021 to 76 in 2022.

“Staying alert behind the wheel allows drivers to take in and appropriately respond to the hazards and behaviors around them that may appear on an otherwise ‘routine’ drive,” stated Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “A child stepping off the sidewalk, a car turning into your path or quickly braking, these are not scheduled events, and tuning out for just a few seconds can turn a daydream into a nightmare.”

State patrol mentions drivers can make conscious efforts to decrease distractions vying for attention and decrease the chance of missing important cues due to inattention blindness. Things steps include:

  • Be aware that we are all prone to distraction, including daydreaming, and take it seriously.
  • Eliminate distractions – put your phone out of reach, get your music or navigation set before you begin driving, and eat/drink outside of the vehicle only.
  • Look for Cues – road signs warn of potential hazards, and environmental cues like wooded areas and busy sidewalks are opportunities to refocus when your surroundings change.