Even the safest drivers can fall victim to others’ negligence. This is especially true when it comes to distracted driving behaviors, which imperils the safety of motorists all over California. While most people would agree that drunk driving is extremely dangerous, many still believe that driving while distracted is not so serious (even though it’s been established that both behaviors are equally harmful). Esurance.com explains the dangers of distracted driving and what you can do to avoid it.
There are actually three different types of distracted driving, which can occur independently or in conjunction. Visual distractions entail taking your eyes off the road, cognitive distractions occur when your mind wanders, and manual distractions involve removing your hands from the wheel. Using a mobile device can combine all three behaviors, which is why it’s considered especially hazardous.
While you can’t control the behaviors of others, there are steps you can take to reduce your distracted driving risk. For instance, keep your smart phone on silent or turn it off altogether (some phones have a feature that sends an automated message to others while you’re driving.) You should also make sure that you set radio stations or your GPS before you actually take to the road. Never eat behind the wheel, and make sure any children or pets traveling with your are secure.
While some people believe that hands-free devices are safer, in fact they are also associated with an increased risk of accident. This is because using such a device will still result in a cognitive distraction since your attention won’t be on the task at hand. The same can be said of having a conversation with any passengers, which can still lead to distraction when behind the wheel.