Distracted driving is one of the main causes of collisions in America. What’s interesting about this is that many people don’t realize how many distractions there are.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three kinds of distractions that can hinder a driver’s ability to drive safely. Those include:
- Physical or manual distractions, which occur when both hands aren’t on the wheel
- Visual distractions, which happen as a result of not looking at the roadway
- Cognitive distractions, which happen when you’re thinking about something other than driving
Thousands of people are killed in distracted driving crashes every year. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes.
What kinds of distractions should you be aware of?
There are many kinds of distractions to be aware of. While you may be familiar with distractions like texting and driving or talking on a cellphone, you may not be as aware of distractions like:
- Eating behind the wheel
- Drinking (nonalcoholic) beverages while driving
- Talking to passengers
- Changing the radio station
- Dealing with a pet that isn’t strapped in
These and other distractions make it more dangerous for a driver to be behind the wheel.
What can you do to minimize distractions when you’re driving?
To minimize the number of distractions you have to deal with, there are a few things you can do. To start with, talk to passengers about being polite or keeping their voices down in your vehicle. You should ask that people don’t argue or scream in the vehicle while you’re driving.
Then, set your phone to away or a driving mode. That way, you’ll still get messages or calls, but your phone will automatically let others know that you’re driving and can’t talk at the moment.
If you have a problem with reaching for your phone when you drive, put it somewhere you can’t access it. This might be inside the center console, in the back seat or in the passenger-side glovebox.
Make focusing on the road a priority to avoid a car crash. If you’re hit by someone who doesn’t, then be aware that you may be able to hold them financially responsible for any medical care and financial losses you suffer.