Are you driving distracted by something in the car? Read on to learn more about the types of distracted driving.Did you know tha t in the US, over 3,000 people died as a result of thoughtless driving in 2021? With the rise of smartphones and social media, preoccupied driving has become even more significant than before. It’s crucial that drivers pay attention to the road and nothing else. But what qualifies as distracted driving? Keep reading and we’ll tell you all the different types of it that you need to be aware of.
Visual distraction involves any behavior that diverts attention away from the road while driving. This is one of the most common and dangerous types of distracted driving. Here are some examples:
Looking Around While Driving
Looking around while driving is perhaps the most common form of losing focus while driving. Whether it be rubbernecking at an accident, scrambling to make sure a turn is not being missed, or gawking at the scenery, taking one’s eyes off the road for too long can result in an accident that easily could have been prevented.
Passengers in the car can also provide a distraction, regardless of good intentions. Glancing over to make sure a child passenger is safe or adjusting the radio can divert the driver’s attention.
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Reading a Text Message or Typing on Your Phone
Cell phone use is especially dangerous because even just a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road can cause serious accidents. Those who use their phones while behind the wheel not only put their own lives at risk but also those of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. It is important to remember that driving requires one’s full attention and to avoid activities that can cause distractions.
Manual distraction is any activity that requires you to take your hands off the wheel. This can significantly increase your chances of being involved in a car accident. Here are some examples:
Using the GPS System
While a GPS system can be helpful in helping you reach your destination, it can also become a major distraction. People can become so distracted by the GPS system that they are not paying attention to the road. They can become so focused on the GPS that they are not aware of their speed or the other vehicles around them.
Additionally, people can become so busy trying to find the right address or make sure the GPS is taking them the right way. They don’t properly scan the road ahead of them.
Adjusting the Radio
Whether changing the station or adjusting the sound level, it can be distracting and can lead to dangerous situations. Adjusting the radio can take the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task at hand. Inattention can easily lead to a car crash, so it’s important for drivers to be aware of the danger that fiddling with the radio can pose.
Eating and Drinking Behind the Wheel
Preoccupied driving due to eating or drinking behind the wheel is a dangerous activity that can significantly jeopardize driver safety. Not only can eating or drinking while driving keep a driver from properly controlling a vehicle, but it can also lead to messes and spills that can impede driver vision and instinctive reaction time. Eating snacks in the car can also increase the potential for choking and having a negative reaction to certain foods, such as peanuts while operating a car.
Cognitive distraction is an issue that is causing more and more car crashes every year. Cognitive distraction is when a driver’s attention is diverted away from the task of driving due to their thoughts or emotions.
Daydreaming can occur when drivers are not engaged in any other type of unfocused driving behavior and may be more likely to occur while on a long drive. Drivers may also experience daydreaming when they are bored or not paying attention to their driving. It’s important to focus on the road, keeping a watchful eye for oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and other obstacles.
Worrying while driving refers to a driver’s general level of anxiety while driving, such as worrying about a future event, feeling overwhelmed, or having a racing mind. For some people, this can be very distracting and can lead to dangerous driving behaviors such as not paying attention to the speed limit, running red lights, or missing turns.
To help reduce worrying, it is important to remember to take deep breaths or find a safe place to pull over if feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, bringing a friend with you so you can talk about your worries or listen to calming music to help relax and refocus the mind can be very helpful.
Drowsy driving is one of the most dangerous and overlooked forms of distracted driving. Drowsy driving is particularly hazardous because when a driver is exhausted, the reflexes are slowed and the driver may not be paying as close attention to the road. This can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.
Drivers can experience microsleeps which are moments of inattention and slow reaction times while at the wheel. It is always important to be well-rested before getting behind the wheel.
Prevent Distracted Driving and Drive Safely
Distracted driving is an all-too-common occurrence. It can come in many forms and all of them can be deadly if a driver is not careful. Be sure to practice safe driving habits at all times!
Most importantly, ban all cellphone use. Instead, keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind focused on the task of driving safely. It is essential that individuals stay focused on the task of driving at all times in order to reduce the risk of injury or death.
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