Distracted drivers are the leading cause of accidents on the road.
According to 2008 statistics, slightly more than almost 20 percent of all crashes for that year involved some type of distraction. In today’s multi-tasking society, the opportunity for distraction has never been as prevalent since the invention of the car. Distractions range from changing the radio to handing the kids snacks to the newest and most publicized distraction, texting while driving. Drivers have been known to talk on their phone, use their laptop, put on makeup, shave, read the paper or eat a meal, all while driving. In fact, some pride themselves on their ability to multi-task while driving.
And once an accident has occurred, other drivers can then become distracted by this accident and start rubbernecking, or slowing down to look at the accident. This also causes a significant number of additional car accidents each year.
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 what you’re doing
Cell phones and texting are the most serious hazard since using a cell phone while driving involves all three types of distraction. A more recent distraction is the in-car navigation system. Many new vehicles come with this automatic system which can be helpful yet at the same time can become a distraction. Drivers often use the screen and the buttons while driving, increasing their chances of an accident.
Any type of activity which removes your focus from the task at hand, which is navigating the roadway, should be avoided for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.
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