In the United States, distracted driving is the cause of over 1,000 accidents every day. In fact, many drivers aren’t aware of the different ways that they can get distracted on the road. Knowing the different ways a driver can be distracted can help one make sure they take the proper steps to fully focus when driving….
Distracted Driving: Cognitive, Visual, and Manual
The three types
Distracted driving comes in three different forms: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Visual is when the driver is look at things other than the road. Finally, manual is when the driver has one or both hands off the steering wheel. Even the simplest things can cause one or a combination of these distractions. Talking to a friend, checking a GPS or reaching for something can all cause these distractions. Additionally, texting and driving is so dangerous because it combines all three at once.
Understand the risks
Each form of distracted driving comes with risks. Mental distraction increases the chance of making mistakes and accidents. Visual distractions can prevent you from seeing changes on the road. Manual distractions can cause you to not react to these changes in time. All of these increase the risk for both you and other drivers. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t understand these risks. However, taking your eyes and mind off the road for just a few seconds is all it takes for something to go wrong.
The largest factor for staying safe from distractions is avoiding them in the first place. Turn off your phone and other devices so they can’t potentially distract you. Keep your focus on the road and not on your passengers as well. If something needs your attention, then pull over first. Additionally, there have been many attempts to crack down on distracted driving. 46 states have banned texting and driving, along with heavy penalties for those that do. Many companies have run ads and created programs to encourage drivers to pay attention to the road. Also, insurance companies have begun offering special rewards and rates for drivers who aren’t distracted.
Distracted driving is something all drivers can prevent. Knowing that the road takes priority is important for staying safe on the road. Your phone, food, and other things can wait until your ride is over.