You’ve seen all of the public service announcements about not texting and driving, but there’s more to distracted driving than just looking at your phone. Did you know that there are three types of distracted driving? According to Esurance, there are cognitive, visual, and manual forms of distracted driving. Not sure what those include? Let us help you drive safely and clear-minded.
1. Cognitively Distracted
Cognitive distraction occurs when your mind is wandering away from the road. If you’re thinking about work, a delicious burger, or the song you’re listening to while driving, you are cognitively distracted. When your mind wanders, you become less aware of what’s happening around you; this can put yourself or others in danger.
It’s difficult to avoid being cognitively distracted while you’re driving; the hum of the highway is almost hypnotic. However, it’s important to stay alert and aware of what’s happening on the road around you. Try listening to something calming that won’t cause you to have a strong reaction, and make a pit stop when you get hungry. Strong feelings about what you’re listening can cause you to react physically, which could become a dangerous situation. Instead, find something you’re comfortable listening to for the whole distance.
2. Visually Distracted
Visual distraction is characterized by taking your eyes off the road, even for a split second. Looking at the radio dial to change the station or checking the GPS is considered being visually distracted. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have terrible consequences.
In connection with the last tidbit of advice, make sure you find something you’re comfortable listening to for a while. If you’re not a fan after the first little bit, find a safe place to pull off the road to adjust your radio. Alternatively, try to grin and bear it until your next pit stop; it may be hard, but it’ll keep you safer. Additionally, program your GPS before hitting the road to avoid having to check or change it along the way. Even if you feel fully confident about knowing your way in the beginning, it can’t hurt to be safe and have the GPS programmed just in case.
3. Manually Distracted
Manual distraction happens when your hands are off the wheel. This includes eating while driving or adjusting something in the passenger seat. If your hands leave the wheel while you’re driving, you lose control, and that’s the last thing you want when driving a large vehicle.
In order to avoid taking your hands off the wheel, eat a snack during your breaks from driving. It may be more convenient to eat while driving to avoid stopping for too long, but it’s worth protecting yourself and others in the long run. Additionally, make sure that everything is properly secured or in place before hitting the road to avoid adjustments while driving. Not only does adjusting something take your hands off the wheel, but it can also cause your other hand to move the wheel and swerve your vehicle.
The reason why there is so much emphasis on not texting and driving is because it is a combination of all three types of distraction. Each type of distracted driving is dangerous enough on its own, but the combination of them all can be deadly to yourself or to others. If you’re concerned about being reached, a hands-free device is always an option; however, hands-free devices can be just as distracting, so proceed with caution.
Here at Horizon Transport, our priority is your safety on the road. By not driving distracted, you are protecting yourself and others around you. We wish you safe travels!