Avoiding Distracted Driving

We’re all guilty of distracted driving at times. Experience tends to be a false sense of security which enhances your ease on the road. Being a responsible driver, however, means minimizing the elements that attract our attention away from the road.  Understanding how you’re distracted from the road is easiest by looking at three types of distraction.

Distraction Type #1

The first is manual distractions, or things that take your hands off the steering wheel.  These are things such as handling your phone, eating, or drinking.  Some people may not consider adjusting the radio or temperature knobs to be distracting but these factors have caused many accidents.  Barkau Chrysler Dodge Jeep ram (Freeport, IL) reminds us that many modern vehicles have opted to even place radio controls directly upon the steering wheel so your attention is never pulled from the road.  If you lack these buttons, it’s better to adjust all your car settings to comfortable levels before you depart onto the road.

Distraction Type #2

Visual distractors are any elements that pull your eyes from what’s in front of you. These factors include windshield-attached GPS devices, scenery, or even your fellow passengers. It’s best to pull over if you need to look elsewhere to take in the view.  Many highways also build specific overlook locations to take in distracting scenery; they are clearly advertised on the road with brown scenic location signs. 

Distraction Type #3

Lastly, cognitive driving distractions drift your focus away from the road, demanding your attention elsewhere or on other subjects even when you’re otherwise practicing good driving techniques.  Holding a conversation with passengers or over the phone is the primary example of this kind of distractor.  Emotions also fall heavily within cognitive distractors, such as being upset or suffering from road rage.  Exhaustion is another major contributor of accidents on the road, as you don’t have the same reaction timing as you would with your full level of alertness. 

Remember

Assessing your level of daily distraction using these three types of distractions throughout your drive can cut down on your risk of getting into an accident.  You may run a little late or have to wait but dedicating your attention to the road both keeps you and the others on the road safe.  You’re always allowed to pull over if you need to sacrifice your focus, make a phone call, or need a boosting twenty-minute power nap.

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