Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents in the U.S. Accidents cause stress and can ultimately lead to injury and/or death. So, what should you know about distracted driving?
Distracted driving comes in three basic forms: cognitive, visual and manual.
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A cognitive distraction while driving is anything that takes your mind off the road. It can be anything, from thinking about what you’re going to do that weekend, to being angry about getting food on your brand-new shirt. As soon as your focus shifts from the road to your personal life, your ability to drive is impaired.
A visual distraction includes any and all things that take your eyes off the road. The act of driving requires a great deal of visual focus. Think about it. We know a driver is going to switch lanes because we see their blinker. You see it’s time to slow down because we can see the traffic light turn yellow. We notice the brake lights on the car ahead, so we also press the breaks. Any one of these situations could have turned into an accident, had the driver not been looking at the road.
A manual distraction occurs when a driver removes at least one of his/her hands from the steering wheel. This includes eating, texting, reaching for something in the glove compartment, fixing your mirror (although, if you need to, you should). The list goes on. Having both hands on the wheel at all times adds a level of stability to your driving and can be your last hope in steering clear of a collision.
The road is full of distractions while driving, and drivers who are distracted pose a great safety risk to those around them. Throw a curveball into the mix, like driving under the influence (DUI) and it can lead to a recipe for disaster. We, as drivers, are our own last line of defense. Driving is a serious activity and requires focus and attention to detail. Don’t let distractions while driving leave you impaired.
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