Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents throughout the nation. In fact, in the year 2011 387,000 people were injured in a motor vehicle crash that was caused by driving while distracted. As technology grows and becomes more prevalent in our lives, the number of distractions also grows.
Did you know that there are three types of distracted driving? They are manual, visual, and cognitive. Visual distracted driving is when you take your eyes of the road. This includes not only looking at your cell phone while reading a text, but also looking down to change the song on your MP3 player, looking for a CD, or unwrapping a candy bar, etc.
In general, your eyes are off the road for five seconds while texting and driving. When going about 40mph, it takes 4-5 seconds to come to a complete stop. A car traveling at 45mph will cover about 330ft in 5 seconds. A lot can happen in 5 seconds…
The next type of distraction is a manual distraction. This means that you are taking your hands of the wheel. Taking your hands off the road is dangerous, even if your eyes are looking ahead because your reaction time is slowed. In the previous paragraph, I illustrated how vital even a second is when driving. If you need to swerve and your hands are off the wheel, even if you replace them quickly, it may be too late.
The third and final type of distracted driving is cognitive. This one is a difficult one, it means taking your mind off driving. While behind the wheel your mind should be on the road, not on what you are going to eat for lunch or anything else. As I said before, this is a hard one to keep under control, especially with so much going on in life. It’s easy to get your mind distracted while driving.
Each and every type of distracted driving is dangerous by itself, but when you put all of them together it’s disastrous. When doing something on the phone such as texting while driving, your hands are off the wheel, your eyes are off the road, and your mind is on your conversation. Is it any wonder distracted driving is becoming such a big problem?
Please, pay attention when you drive. If it helps, keep in mind that it’s not only your life you’re risking when you drive distracted. In the words of the U.S. Department of Transportation, one text or call could wreck it all.