Every time you drive, you face distractions that impact your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Distractions like these contribute to many car accident injuries and deaths every year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018 in the U.S., approximately 400,000 people died and over 2,800 people incurred injuries in car accidents involving driver distraction. Although many assume distracted driving is merely using a cellphone and driving, there are three types of distraction that can result in unsafe driving.
When you stop thinking about driving, you become cognitively distracted and more likely to get involved in a car accident. For example, if you intently focus on a podcast or a conversation with a passenger as you drive, you experience cognitive distraction.
Removing your hands from the steering wheel results in manual distraction. If, for example, you try and eat while you drive or use one hand to change the radio station, you become manually distracted.
Visual driver distraction occurs when you stop looking at the road in front of you. For instance, if you look down at your GPS device for directions or search for something on your car’s backseat, you are visually distracted.
Any type of cognitive, manual or visual driver distraction can put you and others on the road at risk for a car accident. However, using a cellphone to text is one of the most dangerous distracted driving activities because it combines all three forms of driver distraction.