Every driver across the nation has been guilty of it at some point. Any activity that removes focus from the road for even an instant can be considered a distraction. From taking a sip of coffee during a boring morning commute to getting involved in a lengthy discussion with a passenger, cognitive, manual or visual distractions can lead to devastating vehicle accidents on the roads.
While the list of distractions seems to grow daily, there are 10 common types of dangerous driving activities:
- Dining and driving: In what is possibly the most common distraction, drivers often choose to eat or drink while behind the wheel.
- Personal grooming: From applying makeup to shaving, personal grooming while behind the wheel can represent both a visual and manual distraction.
- Watching an animal: With a dog or cat in the car, a driver’s attention is often drawn from the road. From reaching over to stroke an anxious pet to holding a leash or collar to keep them from jumping from seat to seat, a driver’s attention is never fully on the task at hand.
- Watching the kids: Whether you are breaking up a fight between two siblings or checking on a toddler who has become suspiciously quiet, children can be a significant driving distraction.
- Drowsy driving: While not specifically an activity, drivers who are fatigued can become a danger to those around them on the roads.
- Manipulating electronics: This can be either hand-held devices or in-dash gear, but drivers who devote attention to manipulating controls can cause serious accidents. From a radio to a navigation system, these electronics take attention from the road.
- Roadside diversions: In a catastrophic conundrum, many elements of roadside marketing are specifically designed to remove attention from the road. From billboards to nearby roadside attraction advertisements, the core idea is to grab a driver’s attention.
- Electronic communications: Whether a driver is texting, emailing or updating a social media status, the act of reading and typing messages on an electronic device can be deadly.
- Daydreaming: Often referred to as a cognitive distraction, anything that takes brainpower away from the act of driving can lead to accidents.
- Talking on the phone: This activity can be a distraction in all three phases – cognitive, manual and visual. Unfortunately, using a hands-free device isn’t much safer. It’s better to save the conversation until you are safely at home.
Distracted driving can lead to devastating vehicle collisions resulting in catastrophic injuries to drivers and other occupants. While it might be impossible to remove all distractions from a commute, drivers are wise to avoid as many as possible while behind the wheel.