While distracted driving does not carry the same stigma as drunk driving, the practice is still dangerous. Consider that 424,000 people experience injuries in 2019 due to distracted driving behaviors. And of those injury victims, 3,100 people lost their lives.
All motorists must take driving seriously to protect themselves and others. Accordingly, this guide can help you avoid dangerous behaviors to reduce your accident risk.
Types of driving distractions
Driving distractions fall into one of three categories. Manual distractions entail removing your hands from the wheel, which limits control over the vehicle. Visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road. There are also cognitive distractions, which involve taking your mind off driving.
For example, eating behind the wheel is a common type of manual distraction. As for visual distractions, taking your eyes off the road to adjust the volume on your radio is a common activity. When it comes to cognitive distractions, speaking with passengers can prevent you from responding to an unexpected road hazard. Texting while driving is so dangerous because it incorporates all three distractions into one activity.
How to avoid distractions while driving
While you cannot always avoid negligent drivers, limiting distractions in your vehicle can greatly reduce your accident risk. In this case, make sure your mobile device is properly secured while driving so you are not tempted to use it. You should also take a moment to change the radio station, set your GPS, and adjust your mirrors before actually setting out toward your destination.
If you are driving with a passenger, you can enlist their help with things like navigation and other non-driving tasks. And if you have concerns about how a friend or loved one operates their vehicle while you are a passenger, do not hesitate to speak up.