As a driver, it is important to maintain road safety for yourself and everyone else alongside you. Of course, this is easier said than done. It is difficult if not impossible to know and counteract every single danger on the road.
However, you can take steps to ensure your own safety by understanding major dangers and factors that can contribute to these risks, like distracted driving.
Forms of distractions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention takes a look at the umbrella term of distracted driving. An “umbrella term” means it is a blanket term that refers to a vast array and wide variety of different driving behaviors that all tie in at one crucial point: they distract the driver from driving in some way.
Distractions often come in three forms: visual, physical and cognitive. Visual distractions will take a driver’s eyes away from the road. Examples can include a passenger vying for the driver’s attention or an accident happening outside of the car that the driver wants to look at.
Physical distractions will take a driver’s hands away from the wheel. It can include changing the music or temperature of the car. Finally, cognitive distractions involve anything that takes your mind off of driving. It can include worrying about a big upcoming event or thinking too hard about something that just happened.
Several distractions will take up several of the driver’s senses at once. For example, reaching over to pick up something you dropped takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Texting while driving actually distracts you visually, physically and mentally, which is why it serves as such risky behavior.