Distracted driving causes car accidents that injure and kill people. In fact, in 2019, approximately 424,000 and 3,100 people received injuries or died in distracted driving accidents.
Due to its dangers, there are some things you should know about distracted driving.
If you drive the same path to and from work or school every day, you may feel tempted to zone out or focus on something or someone else during the drive. These and tired driving are cognitive distractions. This is common because you may reason that nothing happened in the past, so nothing will happen now or in the future. However, things change quickly on the roads, and you are at higher risk as you get closer to your home or places you frequent.
Visual distractions encourage you to focus your eyes on something else, such as your cell phone, the massive car lot on the side of the road, your kids in the back seat, etc. When you remove your eyes from the road, it is like you are driving with a blindfold. If you travel at high speeds, you can drive unexpected distances totally blind. For example, it takes about one minute to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph.
Anything that takes your hands off the wheel is a manual distraction. This includes eating, answering the phone, adjusting the radio, etc. When you remove your hands from the steering wheel, you tend to have a delayed reaction to road dangers.
Although it is unlikely that you can eliminate all distractions while you drive, you should adopt techniques that limit your distractions. Set an example for your children and other passengers and rely on them to handle distracting tasks while you focus on driving.