Distracted driving is a common factor behind many motor vehicle accidents. About nine people die every day because of distracted driving. When behind the wheel, drivers must take extra precautions to keep the road safe for others. Even simple acts can turn into serious accidents.
According to the CDC, the three types of distractions include cognitive, manual and visual.
The risk of cognitive distraction
Drivers do not always recognize how distracted they become behind the wheel. For instance, when a passenger engages in conversation, but the driver keeps his or her eyes on the road, it does not have to become a distraction. However, when the driver becomes too wrapped up in conversation or emotionally involved, he or she may lose focus and have a slower reaction time.
The problem with manual distraction
Manual distractions include any distractions that require a driver to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. With hands off the wheel, drivers cannot react quickly to obstacles on the road. Manual distractions may include changing the radio station, eating or adjusting the GPS.
The danger of visual distraction
Drivers should never take their eyes off the road. Many people think that looking away for a few seconds cannot hurt. After all, when driving on a straight path, a glance away will not change their route. Unfortunately, the reality is that the road in front of someone can change drastically in a matter of seconds. Reading one text message has the same impact as driving across a football field with closed eyes.
With over 400,000 people suffering injuries from distracted driving every year, drivers need to take extra precautions to avoid distractions when behind the wheel.