When motorists find themselves subject to driving distractions, it means they are neglecting to pay attention to the driving environment due to some behavior that diverts their focus. Distracted driving accidents and incidents are going up in number in conjunction with more adoption of technology across the country. The Centers for Disease Control classifies distractions into the following three categories:
Visual – Visual distractions are the kind that diverts a driver’s eyesight away from the road. Some visual distractions include texting and driving, adjusting the radio or searching for items in your car.
Manual – Manual distractions cause drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel of their vehicles. Manual distractions include eating, smoking and grooming (shaving, hair, makeup, etc.).
Cognitive – Activity that takes averts your attention from the driving environment, like having a conversation whether with someone in the car or on the phone, can also be distracting.
A fourth category of driving distractions is included in some instances includes auditory, which is when drivers listen to something that distracts them from their driving, such as music.
Texting while driving is considered the most dangerous of the distracted behaviors because it involves all three major categories of distractions. Because of this, the consequences for texting while driving are often more severe.
Distracted activities in which drivers indulge behind the wheel most often include:
Using a phone and/or texting
Eating or drinking
Talking to other passengers in the car
Grooming (shaving, makeup, etc.)
Using any PDAs or navigation devices
Watching videos of any kind
Using the radio, CD player or MP3 player