Distracted driving covers a wide range of activities that keep your primary focus away from the task at hand. Did you know that drivers spend more than half the time that they are behind the wheel attending to something other than driving? That is a troubling fact because serious accidents take only an instant to happen. In recent years, there has been plenty of attention directed to the dangers of talking or texting on a cell phone. While this is a serious concern, there are so many other behaviors that constitute distracted driving. If you put on makeup while you drive or spend too much time fiddling with the radio, these activities can be equally as dangerous as talking on the cell phone while driving.
What are the Types of Distractions that Drivers Need to Know About?
Cognitive and visual distractions are the major categories that describe activities or thoughts that take your mind off of driving. These are very broad categories that include almost every activity that is not directly related to getting you and your passengers to your destination safely.
Cognitive Distractions While Driving
From the second that you start your car, your entire focus should be on taking account of your surroundings and operating your car with as much care as possible. Even if you are not engaging in a physical activity that takes your time and attention away from your car and others on the road, your thoughts can be just as dangerous. If you are on a longer trip or stuck in heavy traffic, you may have a tendency to let your mind drift to other more interesting topics than the road in front of you. If you are not mentally present while driving, you will have a much slower reaction time when it comes to hitting the breaks or getting out of the way of a dangerous driver. You are much more likely to cause an accident by not being aware of your surroundings, and you are also less likely to avoid an accident because of your slower reaction time.
Visual Distractions While Driving
Anything that takes your eyes off of the road is considered a visual distraction from driving. Some of the most common types of visual distractions include putting makeup on while driving, fixing the radio, talking on the phone, texting, adjusting your GPS or talking to passengers in your vehicle. The best way to make sure that you are not consumed by any of these activities is to remove the temptation to engage in them while behind the wheel. This means taking a few extra minutes to be sure that you are prepared to drive before starting your car.
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