On today’s roads, drivers are more distracted than ever. Whether it is using the cell phone, feeding the kids or even putting makeup on, it is often difficult to keep your eyes and focus on the road when you are driving. Keeping your focus where it should be is easier said than done, but distracted driving consistently ends up as one of the most common causes of deaths caused by accidents.
The consequences of an accident caused by distraction may affect your life for years to come, so you should be aware of the three main types of distracted driving before you hit the road.
1. Manual distractions
These are distractions that require you to remove your hands from the wheel while you are driving. This can be adjusting a child’s seatbelt, searching through a wallet or purse, turning radio or heating knobs in your car, smoking or eating and drinking.
Once your hands are off the wheel, your chances of an accident increase. You can avoid manual distractions when you adjust all necessary mechanisms before you start driving, put your phone out of reach and do not reach for things in your car when driving.
Cognitive distractions take your mind off the road even when your hands and eyes are on it. These can be daydreaming, road rage, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speaking to someone else in the car or dealing with something that is upsetting to you.
Cognitive distractions can be avoided by controlling your emotions, staying away from phone calls even with hands-free devices and pulling over when your focus cannot remain on the road.
3. Visual distractions
Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. Some examples include adjusting or checking the GPS, changing temperature controls or radio stations, putting on makeup, enjoying the view around you or searching for items on the floor of the vehicle.
Avoid visual distractions by pulling over any time you need to read directions, putting your phone on silent mode and always keeping your eyes on the road.
Minimize distractions or stay off the road
There are times when you simply cannot keep your emotions in check, your children require some help from the backseat or you have an important phone call to take. When these situations occur, it is always a good idea to pull over, even when you are in a hurry.
If you drive distracted and cause an accident, you may also face criminal charges for a simple mistake with disastrous consequences. If this is the case, you may benefit from speaking to a criminal defense attorney immediately.