When a road accident occurs, it’s often due to human error. And more often than not, that error is due to distracted driving. There are three main types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive.
These are distractions that take your eyes off the road. One of the most common visual distractions is using a cellphone while driving. Even just glancing at a text message or email can take your eyes off the road for several seconds, during which time anything could happen. Other visual distractions include things, like reading maps, adjusting the car’s controls and looking at other passengers.
Manual distractions are anything that take your hands off the steering wheel. Again, using a cellphone is one of the most common manual distractions. But other things, like eating and drinking, adjusting the car’s controls and looking for objects in the vehicle can also be distracting.
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off the task of driving. One common cognitive distraction is talking to passengers in the car. Other cognitive distractions include daydreaming, thinking about other things and being preoccupied with something else going on in your life.
How these distractions cause accidents
All three types of distracted driving can lead to motor vehicle accidents. When you’re not paying 100% attention to the task of driving, your reaction time is slowed and your ability to make split-second decisions is diminished. This puts you and everyone else on the road at risk.
On top of that, motor vehicle accidents are expensive. In addition to the cost of repairs, there’re also personal injury lawsuits, the cost of medical bills and lost wages if you’re unable to work. If you’re found at fault for an accident, your insurance rates will likely go up. And, if you cause a serious or fatal accident, you could end up facing criminal charges.
The best way to avoid all of this is to simply avoid distractions while driving. Put your phone away, keep your hands on the wheel and your mind on the task at hand. It might not be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.