All motorists must respect the rules of the road to ensure a safe driving experience. Along with obeying traffic signs at all times, drivers must also avoid distractions whenever possible.
There are actually three distinct types of driving distractions that can prevent motorists from paying their full attention to the task at hand. This guide provides greater insight into common distractions and explains why they are so hazardous.
Types of driving distractions
Driving distractions fall into three separate categories. Manual distractions involve removing one or both hands from the wheel, such as when adjusting the radio station or GPS navigation. Visual distractions occur when a person takes their eyes off the road, even for a second or two. There are also cognitive distractions, which result when a motorist is thinking about something other than driving.
Texting while driving is particularly hazardous because it involves all three distractions at once. However, eating behind the wheel, talking with passengers, or even just daydreaming can all increase the risk of a serious accident.
Why distracted driving is so dangerous
In 2019 alone, 3,100 people lost their lives in crashes where distracted driving played a contributing role. Additionally, 424,000 people experienced injuries that same year in accidents involving driving distractions. These figures highlight the seriousness of distracted driving, as even a momentary lapse of attention can lead to so many poor outcomes.
You can reduce your risk by securing your mobile device while driving. By the same token, activities like setting your GPS and adjusting the radio should occur before you set out, and not while you are driving.