It’s a shared human experience to become distracted in life. While driving might be a more relaxed period in one’s day, it still requires you to cut through the noise and give it your undivided attention. There is a time and place to fully immerse in catching up with friends and on your news feed, and it’s not behind the wheel.
Since it’s so easy to tap into entertainment sources and engage with passengers while driving, it’s essential to understand how dangerous multitasking can be on the road.
Essentially, there are three types of distractions that drivers face:
- Manual: By no means is driving a one- or no-handed activity. Even the safe use of self-driving cars requires all hands on the wheel. Anytime you use your hands for things other than driving and changing gears, you put yourself and your passengers at risk. Commonly, people engage in manual distractions of texting and eating.
- Visual: Looking away from the road is risky too. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to watch through your windows and mirrors. But in this digital age, even experienced drivers may struggle not to glance at their phones when a notification arises. Plus, parents may fail to balance keeping kids happy or entertained while also keeping their focus.
- Cognitive: There are times when drivers try their hardest to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road but still can’t focus. Daydreaming and simply losing mental focus are typical distractions drivers face.
It’s crucial to remember that there will always be distractions outside your control, like an ambulance passing, an accident scene or a flashing billboard. This only heightens the importance of managing distractions in your control. This can include:
- Silencing and stowing away your phone before driving
- Parking to eat after picking up drive-thru fuel
- Getting kids set up with a snack or toy before taking off
- Setting up voice-to-text or using other hands-free technology
- Taking a moment to meditate or clear your mind
Even the best drivers can lose sight of the road or collide with a preoccupied driver. So, moving forward, the best thing to do is to eliminate risky habits and seek immediate medical and legal help if a collision happens.