Distractions are so common on the roads that it is not unusual for you to see or hear about car accidents involving them. Whether you are a novice or seasoned driver, no amount of comfort or familiarity is worth risking your life or endangering others due to inattentiveness. As dangerous and prevalent as distractions are behind the wheel, many motorists are not aware of the types or how to avoid them to improve road safety.
Distractions that occur on the road involve activities and actions that take your focus off of driving. Whether you eat, drink, fiddle with your infotainment system or something else distracts you while operating a motor vehicle, you risk the lives of everyone in your car, yourself, pedestrians and other motorists. Below are some common types of driving distractions and mitigations strategies.
Types of driving distractions
Visual distractions occur when you remove your eyes off the road. One example of a visual driving distraction is turning around to look at a passenger or watching a video or reading text messages on a cellphone/mobile device while in traffic.
Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s thoughts are not about driving. The act of driving is not always exciting. Sometimes, motorists zone out or think solely about other things instead of focusing on traffic, the vehicles near them and road safety.
Manual distractions involve removing your hands from the steering wheel. Usually, this occurs when a motorist has more interest in sending text messages, reaching for fallen objects or physically interacting with vehicle occupants.
Avoiding driving distractions
The key to avoiding inattentiveness while driving is to make a bigger effort to focus on the roads. Try not to think about anything that may cause your mind to wander off the task at hand. Remove all items from the front seat and limit conversations with passengers. Put your cellphone on silent or vibrate and into the glove compartment to avoid the temptation of using it while you drive. Keep your thoughts on your driving performance and the road conditions around you. Utilize safe driving behavior every time you are on the roads to avoid car accidents that involve distractions.