Nearly 30% of Americans admit to 'zombie driving'

'Tis the season for zombie driving, but it’s no laughing matter.

In all seriousness, it turns out nearly 30% of Americans admit to doing it.

Zombie driving is when you zone out while behind the wheel on the roadway. 

A recent survey reviewed people’s driving habits, and it turns out many of us are on autopilot on the roadway.

A reported 27% of drivers say they zone out while driving, more than half say they feel like they’re driving on autopilot and 49% say it typically happens when they have a lot on their mind.

MDOT: 557 people died on Maryland roads last year, distracted driving part of problem

This is apparently happening nationwide and the DMV is no exception. FOX 5 spoke with drivers in northern Virginia who admit to zombie driving — especially on the highway.

The survey results, first reported by Study Finds, show on average drivers acknowledge zoning out at least four times a week. It reportedly happens more during long drives.

While many people say this happens when they have a lot on their minds, others blame sleep deprivation.

Associate Dean Dr. Alex Del Carmen with the School of Criminology at Tarleton State University says, "The idea is that if somebody crosses the lanes expended … they did not even think about it."

This new revelation comes amid Pedestrian Safety Month. The Department of Motor Vehicles reports in Virginia, so far this year, crashes have killed 123 pedestrians on Virginia roadways, which is an increase of 34% compared to this time in 2021. 

While both zombie driving and distracted driving can be dangerous, zombie driving is passive — you're watching the road, but your mind is focused on something else. Distracted driving includes texting, eating, talking on the phone, or streaming shows all while driving.