The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month– but consciousness is important year-round. Distracted Driving is an all too common occurrence. Whether you are viewing a text, tuning the dial to Sun Radio or KUTX, adjusting your navigation, drinking Jo’s Coffee, or something else, there are plenty of distractions on the road.
Folks who use their cell phones to talk or text while driving are by far the most common reason for distracted driving accidents. It is not just about texting, either. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, distracted driving refers to any activity that may divert a motorist’s attention from the road. There are three main types of distractions that can interfere with drivers’ concentration behind the wheel, including:
Manual distractions—Such distractions entail motorists removing both their hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting music volume, programming navigation systems, snacking, or grooming tasks (e.g., fixing your hair) while driving.
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Cognitive distractions—These distractions stem from drivers taking their minds off driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, discussing with other passengers, drowsy driving, or daydreaming.
Visual distractions—Involve motorists taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include reading emails or text messages, concentrating on vehicle passengers, glancing at maps, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents on the side of Interstate I-35, rubbernecking at traffic stops, or observing events along Lady Bird Lake or along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail while driving).
Regardless of distraction type, distracted driving is a serious safety hazard that contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA )reported that more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent distracted driving.
Are you driving under the influence of your phone? Take the Distracted Driving Quiz and find out.
Whenever you get behind the wheel, keep these distracted driving prevention measures in mind: Put away your mobile phone or electronic device. Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel. Stay focused. Concentrate your mind on the road by keeping disrupting discussions to a minimum and looking ahead.
This information is provided solely as an insurance risk management tool. It is provided with the understanding that we are not providing legal advice, or any other professional services or advice. We shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the use of this information.