Driving is such an important and natural part of daily life for most Americans that many do not consciously think about the danger associated with it. This can lead to them not focusing as much as they need to.
They may not realize all the distractions they allow to pull their attention away from the road.
1. Visual distractions
Visual distractions take drivers’ eyes off the road, which means they can miss a vehicle turning in front of them or a child or wild animal running out. They include activities like texting, reading or adjusting the GPS. To avoid visual distractions, individuals can ensure that devices are properly set up before driving and refrain from engaging in visually demanding tasks while on the road.
2. Manual distractions
Manual distractions force individuals to take their hands off the steering wheel. Doing so can cost them the split second needed to swerve and avoid a collision. Examples of manual distractions are eating, reaching for objects or adjusting controls (radio, heat, air conditioning, etc.). To minimize manual distractions, individuals need to organize their belongings before driving and save eating for stops, keeping both hands on the wheel.
3. Cognitive distractions
Cognitive distractions divert mental focus from driving. Daydreaming, engaging in deep conversations or deeply pondering personal matters can compromise awareness of the road and other drivers. Drivers need to stay mentally on the road when behind the wheel.
4. Auditory distractions
Auditory distractions come from noises. Loud music, constant phone notifications, or engaging in lengthy phone conversations can contribute to accidents. Keep volumes at a reasonable level and prioritize silence or soothing sounds to maintain focus.
Over 3,500 individuals died in wrecks involving distracted driving in 2021 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is a hazard to everyone on the road. By cutting down on distractions and planning ahead, drivers keep themselves and other drivers safer.