You might know that distracted driving is among the most popular topics when it comes to automotive safety today, but it is easy to miss just how extensive the problem is. The fact is that each year sees more emphasis placed on curbing distractions while driving because they constitute such a broad range of risk factors. In fact, while texting and driving might be an instantly recognizable source of driver distraction that is likely the reason for the attention on the topic today, distracted driving has actually been a problem for generations.
Understanding the types of driver distraction
One of the first things to realize when trying to understand distracted driving is that distraction can take many forms. That is why it is easy for people who realize cell phones can distract them on the road to miss other risk factors. The three types of distractions on the road, according to the CDC, include the following:
· Visual: This typically happens when drivers take their eyes off the road because they are focused on something else. Accidents, roadside events, and even passenger activity can contribute to this kind of distraction.
· Manual: This happens when drivers have to do something with their hands that keeps them from having both on the wheel. Eating and drinking are mild examples. A more extreme but still common example is applying lipstick or attempting other personal grooming tasks.
· Cognitive: This might be the most extreme form of driver distraction, and that is because it involves taking one's focus off the road and trying to solve other tasks while driving.
It is easy to see how using a cell phone or other electronic device increases risks by creating all three kinds of distraction, but it is also easy to see how distraction runs deeper than most people think.
Minimizing distractions as a driver
If you are trying to minimize your distractions on the road, take the following steps:
- Set all your climate controls and other necessary peripheral settings before putting the car into gear.
- Secure cellular phones and other devices where they will not be a distraction because they cannot be reached.
- Make sure you have sunglasses and other safety equipment that will minimize environmental distractions.
- Try to avoid snacking in the car.
If you are in an accident
If you are in a crash that is not your fault, you might be able to recover the costs of your medical expenses and lost wages. To find out, yo u need to contact an experienced accident attorney.