What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.
There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel;
- Cognitive – taking your mind off of driving.
Texting is the most common form of distracted driving. It requires all three types of distraction, increasing the risk of an accident by 23 times. Other activities that can be distracting include talking on the phone, eating or drinking, fiddling with navigation systems, and adjusting music. Even simply daydreaming can be a form of distracted driving.
There are a few things you can do to avoid being a distracted driver:
- Put your phone away – turn it off or put it out of reach so you’re not tempted to use it while driving;
- Plan your route before you start driving – program your navigation system or map out your route before you start so you don’t have to fiddle with it while driving;
- Eat before or after your drive – try to avoid eating or drinking while driving;
- Limit conversation – if you’re talking to passengers in the car, keep the conversation brief and focused on the task of driving.
If you’re a victim of distracted driving, or if you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.
Some common visual distractions while driving include looking at passengers in the car, looking at scenery outside the car, reading text messages or emails, and fiddling with navigation systems. Even simply daydreaming can be a form of distracted driving.
Manual distractions while driving include activities such as fiddling with the radio, adjusting the climate control, eating or drinking, and using a cell phone. Even simply holding a conversation with a passenger can be a manual distraction. These activities take your hands off the wheel and can increase your risk of an accident.
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off of driving. Texting is the most common form of distracted driving, as it requires all three types of distraction. Other activities that can be distracting and take your mind off of driving include talking on the phone, daydreaming, and using a navigation system. Any of these activities can increase your risk of an accident
Is it safe to drive with one hand?
No, it is not safe to drive with one hand. This is because it takes away from the manual control you have of the vehicle. It also takes your attention away from the road. If you need to do something that requires both hands, pull over to a safe location first.
What are the consequences of distracted driving?
The consequences of distracted driving can be severe. It can lead to accidents, injuries, and even death. In 2017, 3,166 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. That’s an increase of 9% over the year before. If you are caught driving while distracted, you may face fines, points on your license, and even jail time.