Distracted driving still reigns as one of the leading causes of auto collisions in the United States. It is estimated that more than 9 people lose their lives while more than 1,000 people are injured every day in accidents caused by distracted drivers. This is an unreasonably large number of accidents that can be easily avoided if drivers paid more attention to their driving.
Distracted driving is when a driver engages in another activity that takes away their attention from driving. It goes without saying that whenever one is on the road, the task of driving should be giving full attention. Taking your eyes off the road for as little as 3 seconds could have disastrous effects. It has been demonstrated that if you are traveling at 55 mph, in just 5 seconds, you will have travelled the length of a football field.
Distracted driving is classified into visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction is one that impedes your vision or takes your eyes off the road. Manual distraction forces you to take your hands off the steering wheel while cognitive distraction takes your mind off your driving.
In order to help avoid cases of distracted driving auto collisions and improve safety on roads, here is a list of the common and most dangerous distracted driving habits.
Texting and Using Social Media
Cell phone use while driving is the most dangerous distracted driving habit. This is mainly because it combines all of the types of distractions. A driver is 23 times more likely to get involved in an accident when texting while driving. Even if you are not using your phone to text, your risks are just as high for using social media and other apps.
Texting while driving is the leading cause of fatalities for teen drivers. However, despite being aware of these facts, many teen drivers still continue texting while driving.
Talking on the phone, regardless of whether handheld or hands-free, takes away the attention of the driver. A driver is 12 times more likely to get involved in an accident dialing a phone while driving.
Multi-tasking is very difficult when driving. Talking on the phone significantly reduces your reaction time and coordination when faced with an emergency situation. Reacting fast can drastically help you to avoid a fatal accident and any delaying to apply emergency brakes for even a few seconds can lead you right into a major accident.
Personal Grooming and Makeup
This habit is more rampant among the female gender. Taking a look around you will definitely see a woman applying makeup or shaving while driving. These tasks may seem simple enough to do while driving but they also significantly increase your chances of death or severe injuries.
Talking To Passengers
Drivers engaging with their passengers increase their risks of distracted driving accidents. This is because talking to passengers causes visual and cognitive distractions. Passengers are a major source of distraction for drivers.
Paying Attention to Children
Parents, especially those with very young children, tend to pay more attention to their children rather than their driving.