Driving distractions are an increasing occurrence in America due to the growing use of hand-held devices. Driving is a skill that requires your full attention to safely control your vehicle and respond to events happening on the roads around you. Driving involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body. Any event or thing that prevents you from operating your car safely is considered a distraction. For example, driving while using a hand-held device increases the likelihood of a car accident by 400%. This has been a factor driving new restrictive legislation in our state banning hand-held devices while operating a vehicle.
While using cell phones behind the wheel is one of the most talked about driving distractions, it’s not the only one out there. There are many other things that we do behind the wheel that you may be surprised to find are considered driving distractions!
While the list could be endless, the main types of driving distractions are:
- Reading a book
- Using a cell phone
- Eating or drinking
- Smoking and dealing with lighting up
- Reading maps
- Using a navigation system
- Talking to passengers
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio
Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. The distraction occurred within three seconds prior to the vehicle crash!
When you are driving, the condition of the roadway you are on and the behavior of other drivers can change abruptly leaving you little or no time to react. When you are driving, follow these rules:
- Stay focused.
- Pay attention.
Expect the unexpected