It is the responsibility of every driver to conduct themselves safely on the road. This entails following traffic laws, obeying the speed limit, and remaining aware of their surroundings.
Drivers must also be mindful of distracted driving. Even seemingly harmless inattention can lead to serious, life-changing injuries. Here are the three types of driving distractions and why it is crucial for motorists to avoid them.
Keeping your mind on the task of driving is crucial for retaining control over your vehicle. Accordingly, a cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off that task. It could be as simple as letting your mind wander while behind the wheel, which lots of drivers do. It can also involve talking to passengers in the vehicle, which pulls your attention away from the road and other vehicles.
Manual distractions refer to actions that cause you to remove your hands from the wheel. For instance, changing the radio station is a manual distraction. Even seasoned drivers should keep both hands on the wheel at all times for optimum control. Failure to do so can lead to a crash if you encounter an unexpected hazard, such as an animal in the middle of the road.
Taking your eyes away from the road, even momentarily, can have damaging effects. This is especially true when you are traveling at a high rate of speed, as your reaction time is more important than ever when driving fast. In addition to keeping your eyes on the road in front of you, drivers must also constantly scan their mirrors to assess possible risks and hopefully avoid them.
While there are many other forms of distraction behind the wheel, texting while driving is particularly hazardous. That is because it incorporates cognitive, manual, and visual distractions into one activity. In addition to watching out for distracted drivers, you must also avoid distractions to keep yourself and others safe.