Is Daydreaming Considered Distracted Driving?

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For the most part, cellphones tend to catch all of the attention for distracted driving cases. However, there is a bigger culprit out there that studies have been frequently finding – yet people are unaware of – and that is the mind.

Distracted driving accounts for a large majority of fatal and non-fatal accidents in the United States each year, but most of those drivers are not using their cellphones or even talking to passengers. Instead, these drivers are lost in thought, thinking about their endless to-do list or letting their minds wander off into space – something we like to refer to as daydreaming. Daydreaming is accounting for a larger majority of distracted driving accidents than cellphones these days, especially because more drivers are putting away their phones.

Just How Much of a Concern Is Daydreaming?

According to a study cited on, there are more daydreaming accidents today than cellphone related accidents. A study conducted by a private insurance company found that:

  • Lost in thought accidents accounted for 62 percent of the distracted driving accidents in the United States
  • Cell phone use accounted for 12 percent
  • Outside events (i.e. rubbernecking) accounted for seven percent
  • Conversations with other occupants accounted for five percent
  • Reaching for something in the car accounted for two percent
  • Eating or drinking accounted for two percent
  • Adjusting controls in the car accounted for one percent
  • Moving objects in the car accounted for one percent
  • Smoking accounted for one percent

Cell phones are still the second largest contributor to deadly distracted driving incidents in the United States. But, it is important that drivers realize getting lost in their own thoughts can be just as dangerous, if not more, than using their cellphone.

Avoiding Daydreaming

It is not easy to put your own thoughts aside, especially if you have a lot going on. Some things you can do to minimize this problem, however, include:

  • Keep your eyes moving around to the front of the car, the sides and the rear view mirror. Change your position at least every two seconds. Staring any longer can allow your mind to drift.
  • Stay alert by creating what if scenarios on the road – such as what if a car cuts you off.
  • Chew on something that is crunchy and loud – it will prevent you from getting too comfortable.

Injured by a Daydreaming Driver? Contact Horn Law

Daydreaming is easy to do without noticing. If you have been injured by a driver stuck in a daydream, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney at Horn Law to discuss your case and see if you are eligible for compensation. Schedule your consultation at 816-795-7500 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.