Distracted driving is a huge problem in the United States. Each year, motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers result in thousands of injuries and deaths. Distracted driving can result in a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents, such as rear-end collisions, sideswipes, head-on crashes and rollovers, so it’s important to be aware of how it occurs to protect yourself and others.
These involve taking your hands off the wheel while driving. One of the most common examples of this is texting while driving, as it requires you to take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Other examples include eating, drinking, or adjusting the radio or climate controls in your car. Unfortunately, all of these activities can take away your focus while driving and greatly increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident.
Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road. Common examples of this include looking at a phone to read a text message or glancing at other cars on the road. Sometimes, even looking out the window or daydreaming can be considered visual distractions. All of these activities can take away your focus from the road and put you in danger.
Cognitive distractions involve taking your mind off of driving. Examples of this include talking on a hands-free phone, having an involved conversation with passengers, and thinking about something unrelated to driving. Just like the other types of distractions, cognitive distractions can take away from your focus on the road and make it difficult to react in time to emergency situations.
In order to avoid distracted driving, it is important to make sure not to take your eyes or mind off the road. Keep your hands on the wheel. Make sure to keep your phone out of reach and turn off any notifications that might draw your attention away from the road. It’s also a good idea to plan ahead of time if there are activities you need to do when driving, such as eating or adjusting the radio. When in doubt, remember that it is always best to focus solely on the road and your surroundings while driving.