Distracted driving is a major issue on the roads and highways of the United States. It’s estimated that nine people are killed every day due to distracted driving, and nearly 1,000 are injured in preventable accidents. One of the best ways to combat distracted driving is to understand the three types of distractions drivers may encounter.
Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, such as looking at a cell phone or using GPS navigation. Manual distractions require you to take your hands off the wheel, like fiddling with the radio or eating while driving. Cognitive distractions occur when your mind is not focused on driving, like daydreaming or having an engaging conversation with a passenger.
By being aware of these distractions, we can all do our part to make our roads and highways safer.
What Are Visual Distractions While Driving?
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Visual distractions are a major component of these dangerous behaviors, and they can be just as deadly as any other form of distraction. Visual distractions while driving can include anything from looking at your phone to staring at billboards or scenery outside the window. All these activities take your attention away from the road ahead, making it more difficult for you to react quickly if something unexpected happens. To stay safe on the roads, it’s important to understand what visual distractions are and how to avoid them when behind the wheel.
What Are Manual Distractions While Driving?
Manual distractions are any type of distraction that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel. These types of distractions can be particularly dangerous as they reduce a driver's ability to control their vehicle and react quickly in an emergency situation. Common examples include eating, drinking, texting, adjusting music or radio settings, or reading maps while driving. Manual distractions also occur when drivers reach for items such as sunglasses or other objects that have been dropped on the floorboard of the car. Such actions require drivers to take their eyes off the road and one hand off the steering wheel in order to locate and pick up these items which can lead to serious consequences if done while operating a motor vehicle.
What Are Cognitive Distractions While Driving?
Cognitive distractions while driving are mental obstacles that prevent a driver from focusing on the task of driving. They come in many forms, such as daydreaming, thinking about past events or future plans, and worrying about an upcoming meeting. Other cognitive distractions include talking to passengers, using a GPS system, or adjusting the radio or climate control settings. All of these activities require the driver’s mental focus and thus can cause a car accident if not performed with caution and respect for the task at hand: driving. To reduce cognitive distractions while driving, it is important to recognize potentially distracting thoughts or conversations and actively choose to refocus on driving.