Most people understand that distracted driving is quite dangerous. However, too many people assume that the only form of dangerous distraction they need to avoid on the road is the use of a mobile phone. In reality, there are dozens of kinds of distraction, each of which falls into one of three important categories.
When you drive, you need to keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on your surroundings and your mind on the task at hand. When something distracts you, you can fail to notice important signs of danger and could wind up in an otherwise preventable collision. Familiarizing yourself with the three kinds of distraction can help to remind you to always focus on safety best practices when in control of a motor vehicle.
Visual distraction involves taking your eyes off the road
It can feel monotonous to stare forward out of your vehicle at the road in front of you. However, that is of critical safety importance for you, everyone in your vehicle and all the other drivers on the road.
No matter how many times you have driven down a particular stretch of street, you never know when a pet or a child could dart out in the road in front of you. You may also fail to notice smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles or bicycles, if you aren’t actively monitoring traffic for them. Looking at the passengers in your vehicle or a mobile phone are both examples of visual distraction that you can avoid.
Manual distraction involves taking your hands off the wheel
Many people want to minimize the effort they have to put forth while driving as part of their daily commute. Unfortunately, the way people minimize that effort often involves taking a hand off the wheel, potentially to adjust clothing or even to eat.
Even if you are just holding your fingers out of the window to catch the breeze or resting your right hand on the center console, there will be an additional delay when you respond to a sudden change in traffic as you adjust your hands on the wheel for maximum control. Taking both your hands off the wheel is even more dangerous, even if you think you can steer well with your knees.
Mental distraction is arguably the most common kind
Because mental distraction involves where you focus your mind, it is difficult to prove. However, that doesn’t make it any less real than the two other kinds of driving distractions. In fact, cognitive distraction is probably the most common form, as people tend to slip in and out of daydreams and to-do lists throughout their day, including while they are at the wheel.
Keeping your eyes on the road and your focus on safety can help you get where you’re going without an incident. Unfortunately, other drivers may not be as diligent in their pursuit of road safety. Anyone who winds up hurt by distracted drivers in Florida may benefit from discussing the situation with a personal injury lawyer.