Understanding the Different Types of Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving can be a deadly but avoidable problem, and it's crucial to have a full understanding of the different types in order to remain safe on the road. There are three main types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive.

It's essential to know how each type of distraction affects your ability as a driver: impairments in judgment and reaction time can have deadly consequences. It's also important to recognize these risks in others and respond accordingly - staying alert while driving is one of the best ways to keep everyone safe.

What Are Cognitive Distractions?

Cognitive distractions are any factors that interfere with our ability to think and process information. Common cognitive distractions include multitasking, daydreaming, lack of focus and intuitiveness, as well as outside sources such as media and noise.

When driving, cognitive distractions can be even more dangerous; when two-thirds of all motor vehicle fatalities involve driver distraction, it's easy to see why safety is so important around these issues.

What Are Visual Distractions?

Visual distractions while driving can take many forms, from pedestrians to neon signs. Anything that draws your attention away from the road imposes a serious hazard to both you and other drivers. Common visual distractions include cell phones, GPS devices, dashboard computers and Bluetooth headsets. Distracted drivers are more likely to drift within their lanes or into oncoming traffic as well as drive above or below posted speed limits.

Drivers also miss turn signals, stop signs and yield indicators when they don’t keep their eyes on the road ahead. To ensure everyone's safety, it's important to not allow yourself to become distracted by something other than the road while driving. Focus your full attention on the task of driving safely and avoid haphazard participation in any activity which takes your focus away from the primary responsibility of safe driving.

What Are Manual Distractions?

Manual distractions while driving are any activities that require the driver to move their hands off the steering wheel or away from the other vehicle controls. Common manual distractions include eating, drinking, and smoking, but can also include adjusting the radio, attempting to change a CD or switch a playlist on an iPod, or trying to remove loose change from pockets or a purse.

Along with being dangerous distractions, these activities may prove near impossible for drivers in jurisdictions who must adhere to laws against texting and talking on cell phones while driving. Manual distractions are a major factor in many auto accidents as they take away from the driver's ability to maintain control over their car and become increasingly hazardous when combined with higher speeds or poor road conditions.

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