We all do it — drive distracted. Distracted driving can include: using daily navigation apps, sending a text, or rubbernecking. Each of these could land you or someone you love in the care of an auto accident doctor.
Performing these tasks that distract while driving can have a significant impact. A few seconds of distraction can cause a significant incident. If you are ever in a car accident, be advised to see an auto accident doctor. These doctors are specialists when it comes to auto accident injuries.
“Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed, and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.”
According to a study by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” A moment of distraction can cause destruction or even a fatality.
No matter how brief, a distraction is still a distraction. It takes your focus away from your primary task: driving.
There are three main types of distracted driving, according to the CDC:
Types of Distracted Driving:
· Visual – takes your eyes off the road
· Manual – takes your hands off the wheel
· Cognitive – takes your mind off of driving
Any distraction that takes your eyes off the road is a visual distraction. Looking anywhere outside the driving path in front of you causes a visual disturbance.
This distraction may happen when you are driving by a car accident. We call this visual distraction rubbernecking. Taking a few seconds to look and see what happened is a significant distraction.
Traffic beside a car accident is always going slow. It’s usually because everyone is slowing down to look at it.
Backing out of your driveway, you turn to see your cute neighbor mowing the lawn. You’ve taken your eyes off of where they should be focused. You are putting yourself at risk by doing this, so try to avoid doing it.
Manual distractions are disturbances within your vehicle. This type of distraction causes you, for some reason, to take your hands off of the wheel. It happens more often than you’d think.
You might be taking your dog to the vet. During the drive, he is jumping from the back seat to the front. You end up taking your hands off of the wheel to coax him into sitting back down.
You may be en-route to drop your child off at daycare. His pacifier has tumbled to the floorboard. You immediately reach back to grab it for him before panic ensues.
These are things that might cause you to take your hands off of the wheel during a drive. Try to reduce cause for distraction before you begin your trip.
Cognitive distractions occur when your thought processes and attentional focus deviate while driving. Say you are overwhelmed with many projects at work, or you are going through a bad breakup.
You have racing thoughts going through your mind. Your thoughts are racing, and your emotions are all over the place. You are not giving t your full attention to driving,
Even though you are looking at the road, you are not focused. In these types of situations, it’s best you hold off on driving yourself anywhere if at all possible.
How to Stay Safe on Roads
- Focus only on driving.
- Leave home early so that you’re not in a rush during your drive.
- Secure all loose items in the car.
- Start your GPS or navigation app before beginning your drive.
- Avoid eating on the road.
- Secure children or pets that will be riding with you.
- Put your cell phone away.
- Install a hands-free communication device.
- Take an Uber instead.
- Enlist others in the car to help you focus on safe driving.
- If a distraction or emergency does arise, pull off the road to tend to it.
Distracted Driving Alternatives
If you feel that you have too many distractions going on, opt for an alternative to driving. Get a friend to drive for you. Call an Uber to get you to the destination.
Hire a nanny that will pick up the children from school for you. Opt for a mobile concierge or courier service.
Rearrange your schedule to commit to the drive when you have more time on your hands.
“Hands-free is not necessarily risk-free!”
There are many ways around distracted driving. Make it a point to avoid it. Remember that hands-free devices still have associated risks.
Ultimately, driving distracted could cost you a lot in the long run. Think about how much the bill would be to have to see an auto accident doctor.
Commit to Not Driving While Distracted
Distracted driving drastically increases the likelihood of a car accident. Not only does this affect you as a driver, but it also affects your passengers and those driving in other vehicles.
There are many warnings, laws, and stringent penalties associated with distracted driving. You can check out state-specific laws here.
Employers should encourage employees not to drive while distracted. Most importantly, parents should set the standard for children by not driving distracted. Abide by state laws that are in place to cut down on distracted driving.
Also, you should commit yourself to always drive without distraction. You can be the one to set the example for those driving with you.
The author is a well-known chiropractor who writes for and provides care for patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Dangers of Distracted Driving | LifeHack Plus