wrecked carHave you ever found yourself distracted while driving? Maybe you are thinking about that beautiful pair of shoes that you just saw at Nordstrom or maybe you are daydreaming about the day when your kids will just let you pee in peace, eat warm food, or speak uninterrupted on the phone. Either way, whether you realize it or not, you are driving on the road distracted.

A new study claims that it’s more dangerous to daydream while driving than it is to use your iPhone while driving. You can consciously choose to answer your phone or text while you are driving, but daydreaming unconsciously happens. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s happening.

According to research, 62 percent of all fatal distracted driving accidents each year are because people get “lost in thought.” 

We live in a fast paced world and we are always looking ahead, to the next place, the next phase, and the next big thing, and it is distracting us from the present; from being in the moment. I can’t even remember the last time that I was doing something and focused solely on that task. I've been a mom for eight years, my mind is always someplace else, thinking 12 steps ahead.

Not only are we missing out on the moments that are happening in real time, we are really distracted. We go on autopilot. I know I'm not the only one who's had a lot on my mind while driving, sometimes with my kids in the car.

My kids are arguing in the back seat. It’s a lulling white noise to a mom. I'm driving along, trying to remember if I have their shoes and leotards for ballet and figure out what I am going to make for dinner. Meanwhile, I'm on the road driving to ballet on autopilot. I get there because the route is seared into my brain from doing the drive three times a week for two years. But ask me anything about what was going on in my environment while I was driving and I couldn’t tell you if there was a fire on the side of the road or a stalled motorist.

That scares me. We all need to be more aware of our surroundings outside and leave the daydreaming for when we are at a full stop. I don’t want to be responsible for killing myself or my children or anyone else because my mind was someplace else.

Do you ever get lost in thought when you drive or are distracted by your to-do list?


Image via Anna N/Flickr