You might feel like multitasking behind the wheel doesn’t impact your driving abilities. But no matter how many accidents you’ve dodged or how clean your driving record is, engaging in distractions is still careless to do while driving.
To preserve your safety, it’s essential to figure out ways to avoid driving while distracted. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people died as a result of distracted driving accidents. So, it’s important to understand that death could be the consequence of taking just a few seconds to text a friend while in motion. You can cut out distractions by recognizing some of the behaviors you engage that cause your attention to shift away from driving. From there, you can make changes and make the streets safer at the same time.
Distractive technology and thoughts
Basically, there are three categories that driving distractions fall under — cognitive, manual and visual. In other words, this includes thoughts you have about things other than driving, activities that cause you to lift your hands off the steering wheel and anything that causes you to look away from the road.
Oftentimes distractions that drivers come across on the road fall into more than one category. A few common examples include, cell phone use, changing music and controlling the GPS. When you talk on the phone, flip through radio stations or type in directions, you often look down at technology instead of out the windshield. You usually need to take at least one hand off the steering wheel to perform these actions too.
A common cognitive distraction involves drivers simply being deep in their own thoughts. Speaking with other passengers can also be distracting if the topics you are covering are serious.
Instead of controlling technology while driving, try making song selections and typing in directions while your car is in park. You should also think twice before becoming involved in a deep conversation. If you feel high emotions pour in while speaking to someone during your commute, try pulling over somewhere safely before becoming fully consumed in a topic unrelated to driving.
The problem with distracted driving, is that many drivers assume they can multitask with ease because it hasn’t caught up with them yet. But it’s estimated that less than 3% of the population can successfully perform two activities at once. Instead of assuming you are part of this group, it’s best to keep as focused as possible while you drive.