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Boredom is killing drivers on America's roads

When you think of things that are fatally dangerous to drivers in Rhode Island, you probably think of the usual suspects: drunk drivers, distracted drivers, teen drivers and freak accidents. These are all dangerous in their own way, but don't overlook a far more common issue:

Boredom.

One study looked at distracted driving to find out why it kept happening. Were drivers on their phones? Were they talking? How could it be stopped?

What they discovered was fascinating. A full 62 percent of those in the accidents said that their minds simply wandered. They weren't doing anything specific. They just weren't thinking about driving.

In other words, they were bored. The road was straight and felt endless. Traffic was moving at a predictable speed. They weren't realistically going to sit pressed forward in the seat, knuckles white on the wheel, intently watching traffic.

Instead, they thought about what they were getting for dinner, where they wanted to go on vacation, what they had to do at work or all sorts of other things. They wanted to distract themselves from the boredom of the road.

Then, when the accident happened, they weren't ready. They didn't see it coming. They missed some crucial element -- like a stop sign -- and caused the wreck. All of that boredom may have gone on for hours, but the crash took just a few seconds.

This is a very hard distraction to avoid, and there's no way to pass a law against it. If you're hit and injured by a bored and distracted driver, be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation for your injuries.

Source: Jalopnik, "American Drivers Are Literally (Literally) Dying Of Boredom," Raphael Orlove, accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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