It's not just cell phones and texting!
It may be surprising to learn that cell phones and texting are only part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task - driving. It is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, drivers spend more than half of their time focused on things other than driving.
Driving distractions may include:
Your brain is only capable of processing a certain amount of information at any given time.
When we attempt to perform multiple tasks at the same time, like driving while talking on the phone or eating, we can encounter performance problems. Multiple tasks compete for our brain's attention.
It may sound like an assumed fact, but you must look where you are going when driving. Regardless, we see people driving without looking where they are going every day. Driving while visually distracted can be just as dangerous as driving with your eyes closed. You would not make a turn or change lanes with your eyes closed, yet, distracted drivers are essentially doing just that.
A distraction can keep you from driving safely in multiple ways. Any distraction, regardless of how quick or harmless it may seem, should be avoided when you are behind the wheel. Remember to keep your eyes and brain focused on the road always.
Avoiding sending text messages or calling someone who is driving can help prevent them from becoming distracted. Parents can set a good example for children by modeling attentive driving, including putting away the phone and not eating or grooming behind the wheel. Learn more about talking to your teen driver.