According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of driving distractions: cognitive, manual, and visual. Cognitive distraction occurs when you take your mind off driving, while manual distractions involve removing your hands from the wheel. Visual distractions are those that require you to take your eyes off the road.
All types of distractions are dangerous, especially when they are combined. They also go beyond texting while driving, which is especially risky. Here are a few different driving distractions to avoid so you can stay safe and secure on the road.
Eating while driving
Most drivers have eaten behind the wheel, which encompasses all three distractions. If you frequently eat while driving, make more time for meals at home. You can also stop at a restaurant for a meal, as opposed to going through a drive-thru when out and about.
Talking to passengers
Talking to your passengers seems relatively innocent, but keep in mind it can pull your attention away from driving. This is especially true of younger, inexperienced drivers, who may frequently travel with friends. Parents should limit the amount of passengers teen drivers can take along, which reduces the risk of being distracted while driving.
Adjusting the radio or GPS
Changing the radio station and adjusting a GPS are both manual distractions since they require you to take your hands off the wheel. They can also be visual distractions if you must look away from the road to do so. Be safe and set the radio and GPS before heading out. And if you must make an adjustment, wait until you are stopped to do so.
Daydreaming or letting your mind wander
It can be easy to let your mind wander during long trips. However, if you are not completely concentrated on the road you run the risk of reacting to road hazards too late. Keep your focus at all times by scanning the road in front of you, paying attention to the actions of other drivers, etc. And if you feel tired or fatigued while driving, stop and get some rest.