Distracted driving is performing any type of activity in the car that takes your attention away from the road. Changing the radio station, eating while driving, programing a GPS, applying makeup, child disturbances, animals in the vehicle, and talking on a cell phone are all examples of distracted driving.
Driving requires your complete attention to the road. Multitasking does not work when driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association states distracted driving is the #1 cause of accidents.
- The NHTSA calls distracted driving a ‘deadly epidemic’
- Vehicles are loaded with devices that invite distraction
- 10% of all fatal car crashes involve distracted driving
- Insurance penalties for distracted driving citations have increased 8000%
The three types of distraction are categorized:
- Manual: removing your hands from the wheel
- Visual: taking your eyes from the road
- Cognitive: your mind wanders away from the road
Here are some tips from AAA on how to avoid distractions while driving:
- Fully focus on the road. Do not let anything sidetrack your attention.
- Safely store loose items before you start driving so you are not reaching for them while driving
- Make your GPS, radio, temperature, and mirror adjustments before you start driving
- Do your hair grooming at home, before you get on the road.
- Snack before or after your trip, not while you’re driving.
- If pets or children need attention, pull to the side of the road.
- Turn off your cellphone—stop to use them.
Anything that diverts your attention from the road is a distraction—deal with it before or after your trip.
“Concentration,” Automobile Safety Foundation, 2019.
“Distracted Driving,” Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, June 9, 2017.
“Distracted Driving Facts,” End Distracted Driving, 2019.
“Texting and Driving Statistics 2019,” The Zebra, January 2, 2019.
“Tips for Preventing Distracted Driving,” AAA, 2017.