Distracted driving is a growing problem that is causing accidents on the roads every day. According to NHTSA, distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the task of driving. It is a serious problem that can have fatal consequences, which is why it is important to understand the dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid it.
Types Of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can be categorized into three types: visual, manual, and cognitive.
- Visual distraction occurs when the driver takes their eyes off the road, such as looking at a mobile phone, a GPS device, or even a passenger.
- Manual distraction occurs when the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, such as adjusting the radio, eating, or applying makeup.
- Cognitive distraction occurs when the driver’s mind wanders away from driving, such as daydreaming, talking on a mobile phone, or engaging in an intense conversation with a passenger.
Each type of distraction is dangerous in its own way, and often, more than one type of distraction occurs at the same time.
Dangers Of Distracted Driving
The dangers of distracted driving cannot be overstated. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the NHTSA. When drivers are not focused on the road, their reaction time is slower, and they are more likely to miss important cues, such as a pedestrian crossing the road or a car suddenly stopping in front of them.
Additionally, distracted driving can lead to accidents that cause property damage, injuries, and fatalities. These accidents can be devastating for the individuals involved and their families.
Tips On How To Avoid Distracted Driving:
1. Put Your Phone Away
One of the biggest distractions for drivers is the mobile phone. It is important to put your phone away while driving to avoid the temptation to check messages or take calls. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location and use it then.
2. Use Voice Commands
If your car is equipped with voice commands, use them to make phone calls, send text messages, or change the music. This will allow you to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
3. Set Your Gps Before Driving
Before you start driving, set your GPS to your destination. This will prevent you from having to fiddle with it while driving, which can be distracting.
4. Eat And Drink Before Driving
Avoid eating and drinking while driving. If you need to eat or drink, pull over to a safe location to do so.
5. Limit Passenger Distractions
Passengers can also be distracting, especially if they are engaging in a heated conversation. Set ground rules with your passengers before starting the journey, such as limiting conversation or asking them to avoid making sudden movements.
6. Take Breaks
Long drives can be tiring, and fatigue can lead to distractions. Take breaks at regular intervals to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.
7. Stay Focused
Finally, the best way to avoid distracted driving is to stay focused on the task at hand. Maintain your focus on driving by keeping your eyes on the road, palms on the steering wheel, and mind on driving. Avoid any activities that take your attention away from the road.
Distracted driving is a serious problem that can have fatal consequences. Understanding the different types of distracted driving and the dangers associated with it is important. Attending a reputable driving school can teach you not only the practical skills of driving but also the importance of avoiding distractions on the road to ensure safety. By following the tips on how to avoid distracted driving, we can reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving and make the roads safer for everyone.