Distracted driving is a well-known issue on the modern roads. It causes thousands of crashes each year, some of which leave people dead or coping with permanent injuries.
If you already realize that distracted driving is negligent, you may always turn the ringer off on your phone before you get in your car. That way, you won’t even think about your phone if a text message comes in, let alone feel like you have to pick up your phone to answer it.
While keeping your phone out of your hands is a good first step, text messages and phone calls are far from the only causes of distraction on the road. There are many other common driving activities that also qualify as distractions.
Distractions include all kinds of multitasking
Your brain can’t really focus on two tasks simultaneously. If you try to do something else during your daily commute or while driving the kids into school to make use of that time in the car, those activities are probably distractions.
Quizzing your child on their spelling words will mentally distract you and possibly visually distract you as you glance back at your child to acknowledge they just did a good job. Drinking a cup of coffee or eating a breakfast burrito on your way to work will require that you take at least one hand off of the wheel and risk spilling something and having an involuntary reaction.
Singing along to the radio, making calls, even using hands-free technology reaching for something in another seat or adjusting the vehicle control, like your built-in GPS device, could all these sources of distraction that increase your reaction time and affect your decision making.
Safety should be your first priority
The more time you spend in the car every week, the more reason you might have to what to make use of that time. However, for every mile traveled, you have a certain degree of crash risk. Engaging in distracted driving will only increase that risk.
Not only how you more likely to get into a crash, but you may have financial liability for it instead of the right to make a claim against another driver. You can protect yourself by avoiding the impulse to multitask or otherwise distract yourself. Recognizing and avoiding distracted driving protects you physically and legally from the dangers of motor vehicle collisions.