Distracted driving is a huge problem in the United States. Every day, motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers claim lives. Cellphones are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to distracted driving, but there are many other distractions that can lead to accidents.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the task of driving. There are three main types of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive.
Visual distractions are anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Common visual distractions include looking at a cellphone, reading a text message or fiddling with the radio.
Manual distractions are anything that takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel. Reaching for something in the back seat, eating or applying makeup are all examples of manual distractions.
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving. Talking to passengers, daydreaming or thinking about something other than driving are common examples of cognitive distraction.
How does distracted driving cause accidents?
When a driver gets distracted, they are not paying full attention to the task of driving. This can lead to them missing important cues, such as stop signs or traffic lights. Distracted driving can also cause drivers to make mistakes like turning into oncoming traffic or veering off the road.
In many cases, distracted driving accidents are caused by a combination of factors. For example, a driver who is texting and not paying attention to the road may not see a pedestrian crossing the street. As you can imagine, this could lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, injuries or even death.
Distracted driving is an incredibly dangerous behavior that can have devastating consequences. The best way to avoid being involved in a distracted driving accident is to pay attention to the task of driving. This means putting away cellphones, keeping conversations inside vehicles minimal and keeping your mind on the road. If you are feeling tired or sleepy, pull over to take a break in order to avoid causing an accident.