When someone allows themselves to become distracted behind the wheel, he or she becomes a danger to you and others on the road. About nine people lose their lives daily because of distracted drivers. On the road, every person must drive safely and follow traffic guidelines to protect the safety of others.
All forms of distracted driving are dangerous, including visual, cognitive and manual.
Visual distractions require you to take your eyes off the road for any length of time. Checking on your kids or pets in the backseat or looking at the GPS can cause visual distractions. If you drive at 55 MPH, taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds is the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Some drivers minimize the danger of cognitive distractions. Cognitive distractions could be wandering thoughts, driving while emotional or paying attention to conversations in the car. The road should remain a number one priority. You may have difficulty reacting to sudden changes if you do not focus on the road.
You should never take your hands off the wheel while driving. Often, manual distractions include fidgeting with the radio or eating. When you remove your hand from the steering wheel, you will have a harder time maneuvering your car in response to a sudden obstacle.
Some activities, like texting and driving cause visual, manual and cognitive distractions simultaneously. In the time it takes to respond to a text, a driver may miss pedestrians crossing the street, cars stopping suddenly ahead or changing traffic lights.