It’s easy for drivers to get distracted behind the wheel and oftentimes, drivers don’t even realize that they’re distracted until it’s too late. Several activities can take a driver’s attention away from operating their vehicles, which the CDC classifies as:
- Visual distractions: Any activity that causes a driver’s eyes to wander off the road. This can cause them to be unable to react when driving conditions change and proper attention is needed.
- Auditory Distractions: Noises or sounds that divert a driver’s attention away from the road. This can cause them to have a delayed reaction time.
- Manual Distractions: Taking one or both hands off the wheel to perform tasks. This can cause drivers to veer off the road or hit another vehicle.
- Cognitive Distractions: Any activity that sidetracks a driver’s focus from driving. This can cause them to be unable to fully process hazards on the road.
Some of the most common driving distractions include:
- Eating or drinking
- Reaching or searching for items
- Securing a seatbelt
- Listening to music
- Adjusting the GPS
- Looking at billboards
- Checking or applying makeup
Driving requires your undivided attention. You need to be able to predict and react quickly to what other drivers are doing and handle essential driving functions like steering, braking, or accelerating. Even the most mundane and innocent tasks can decrease the brain’s ability to react effectively, causing a devastating accident to occur in the blink of an eye.