Study: Daydreaming a top distraction for drivers

Traffic on the ramp to DC 295 Kenilworth Avenue during Friday\'s rush hour. (WTOP/J. Hoeflinger)

WASHINGTON – Getting lost in thought can cause accidents.

The Erie Insurance Group asked people involved in fatal crashes what was going on right before an accident: 62 percent said they were daydreaming — that’s more than crashes involving texting or talking on the phone.

Erie Insurance Group’s study was based on a nationwide database kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The brain wanders a lot while driving, especially when the scene is boring or the same day in and day out. Keeping eyes moving by changing the view every 2 seconds is one tip from Yahoo! Autos. Another is to sing along to the radio.

Chewing on crunchy foods also can help drivers stay alert.

Other distractions that can lead to accidents include paying attention to the kids in the back seat, reaching for something in another part of the car and rubbernecking, according the Erie Insurance Group.

Staying off the Internet is always a good idea. A study from State Farm finds that people under the age of 29 admit to surfing the ‘net while driving at least once a month.

Ultimately, it’s easy to drift off and day dream. Anyone who feels like they just can’t keep up, should pull over.

Check out this video that highlights more of the finds from Erie Insurance Group’s study:

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