According to the CDC, about eight people die every day in accidents caused by distracted drivers. Until you experience an accident with a distracted driver, you may not recognize the dangers of the actions drivers take every day.
When it comes to distracted driving, there are three types of dangerous distractions: manual, cognitive and visual.
What are manual distractions?
Manual distractions include any act that takes your hands off of the wheel. For instance, if you want to eat while driving, technically, you do not have both hands free to react to obstacles in the road. Some examples of common manual distractions include changing the radio station, texting on a cell phone and using the navigation system.
What are cognitive distractions?
Sometimes drivers may not recognize cognitive distractions. Cognitive distractions take your mind off the road rather than your hands or eyes. For example, if you drive while emotionally compromised, you may have difficulty focusing on safe driving. Additionally, a heated conversation in the car may take your focus from the road despite still controlling your vehicle.
What are visual distractions?
Visual distractions are among the most dangerous. Did you know that if you take your eyes off of the road for a few seconds, you may as well drive blindfolded across a football field? Your eyes should remain on the road at all times. The road conditions can change quicker than you can react if you look away.
With about 400,000 people suffering injuries in crashes every year due to distracted drivers, the problem is widespread. Drivers and passengers can act proactively to prevent distracted driving.