WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including texting on your phone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, fiddling with the stereo & entertainment —anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.All distractions compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, bystanders and those in other vehicles.You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Driving is a necessity for most of us. But, driving also comes with a lot of responsibilities.There are many things that can distract a driver, even when it isn’t intentional. For safe driving, fleet drivers must have their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and full attention and focus on the task at hand.
To avoid distraction, it’s best to look at the three types of driving distractions:
TYPES OF DISTRACTION DRIVING :
1. VISUAL DISTRACTION: The first type of distraction, and one of the most common with drivers, is a visual distraction. These are things that take the driver’s focus and eyes off the road, even for a split second.This could be: Checking and adjusting your GPS, Changing the radio station, Adjusting your temperature controls, Adjusting your temperature controls, Doing your makeup, looking outside when there is a distraction on the side of the road.All of these factors keep the driver from looking straight ahead where they need to be looking for safe driving.
2. MANUAL DISTRACTION: The next type of distraction is a manual distraction. These may or may not be combined with visual distractions. The driver is taking one or both of their hands of the steering wheel for a variety of reasons.It may be Answering a call or send a text message, Eating and drinking, Smoking, Turning knobs in your car, Searching through your wallet.Texting while driving has the biggest potential for distraction while driving. It is mainly due to the manual distraction, but also includes a visual distraction and cognitive distraction.
3. COGNITIVE DISTRACTION: The last area of distractions while driving is the cognitive distractions. These are distractions that keep your mind from being focused during driving. If something else captures your attention or you are having trouble concentrating on the road, it could lead to potential accidents. You won’t be in the right state of mind to think fast or drive as safely as you should. This may be from Emotional stress, Talking to another passenger, Thinking about something that is upsetting, Road rage, Daydreaming, Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.Drowsy driving can also be considered a form of cognitive distraction but is typically regarded as a separate problem of its own.
TEXTING AND DRIVING: You may have noticed that some activities fall under more than one of the distracted driving categories. These activities are extra dangerous, as they tend to take more attention away from your driving than distractions that fall under only one category.Texting while driving is an especially dangerous habit, as it falls under all three types of distracted driving.
While texting, you are distracted:
- Visually as you look at your phone rather than the road and cars around you.
- Manually as you type your messages rather than keep your hands on the wheel and ready to react.
- Cognitively as you concentrate on your conversation rather than the situation unfolding in your driving environment.
An individual checks his phone on an average 110 times a day. We are quite dependent and also addicted to our devices. When this habit extends even to driving, we put ourselves and others at grave risks. The consequences of which we won’t even like to imagine.
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