You’re probably familiar with the term “distracted driving” and the potential dangers it can pose to motorists. Though it may seem like an overreaction to caution a driver about looking away from the road for even a moment, such a small action can have devastating consequences. Our Louisville car accident lawyers break down what makes distracted driving so dangerous.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while engaging in activities other than driving that take your attention away from the road. Any distraction, even one that only lasts for a moment, can compromise your safety as well as that of any nearby passengers, pedestrians, and motorists.
What Are The 3 Main Types of Distracted Driving?
There are three main types of distractions, which are often applied to driving:
- Visual: This type of distraction involves anything that you can look at.
- Manual: Manual distractions involve using your hands.
- Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off what you are doing is a cognitive distraction.
What Are Examples of Distracted Driving?
The best example of distracted driving is texting while driving. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or even just reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds, which, if you are traveling at 55 mph, is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Not only is this example so overused because texting and driving is extremely dangerous, but it is also the perfect blend of all three types of distractions. Looking at your phone is a visual distraction, reading the text and coming up with a response forms a cognitive distraction, and typing and sending a message takes your hands off the wheel, making it a manual distraction.
Other examples of distracted driving involving visual, manual, and/or cognitive distractions include:
- Using the radio
- Adjusting your GPS
- Reaching for something
- Putting on makeup
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to passengers
Before you let distracted driving get the best of you, remind yourself that most things can wait. If something urgent or immediate comes up, simply pull over and take care of the distraction before continuing your trip. This may seem like a hassle, but it can save lives—including your own.