Distracted driving is a major issue on the roads today, as it poses many serious threats. Driving distractions endanger motorists, but can also harm passengers and pedestrians.
By understanding the underlying contributors to distracted driving, you can better avoid them.
Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, which diverts your attention from driving. Common visual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio or even gazing at scenery. A split-second lapse in attention can have severe consequences, leading to accidents and injuries.
Manual distractions occur when a driver removes their hands from the steering wheel. Examples include eating, adjusting the GPS or reaching for objects inside the car. These activities increase the risk of an accident.
Cognitive distractions involve mental engagement that takes focus away from driving. Daydreaming or engaging in deep conversations are examples of cognitive distractions. Even seemingly harmless activities can impair a driver’s ability to make split-second decisions, leading to potentially hazardous situations.
Smartphones are a major distraction behind the wheel. Texting, browsing social media or using mobile apps while driving can be fatal. Technological distractions are particularly concerning among young motorists, who may be more likely to use their devices while driving. Keep in mind that drivers in Florida can receive a citation if caught texting while driving.
While not as commonly discussed, auditory distractions can also impact driving. Loud music, phone calls without hands-free devices or listening to podcasts at high volumes can impact concentration. Maintaining auditory awareness is also important for recognizing potential dangers, such as emergency vehicle sirens or honking horns.
As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,522 lost their lives to distracted driving in 2021. By obeying traffic laws and avoiding common distractions, you can protect yourself and others while operating a motor vehicle.