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Your smartphone isn't the underlying cause of distracted driving

A number of factors may lead to a collision. Yet the primary concern for most drivers - with good reason - is distracted driving. While texting while driving and smartphone use are primary drivers of distracted driving, there are a number of behaviors that contribute to the staggering number of distracted driving injuries and fatalities on the road today. 

More than one way to drive distracted

Do you know the signs of distracted driving well enough to recognize potential danger on the road? This post provides information regarding the three main types of distraction that often lead to catastrophic injuries. By keeping this information in mind and knowing where to turn for help if an accident occurs, you may be able to avoid a crash, or at least obtain immediate support if a distracted driver hits you.

It's all in the eyes, hands and mind

Most driving distractions comprise three main categories: manual, cognitive and visual. Specific examples of each are below:

  • Have you ever seen another motorist holding a super-sized drink or burger while traveling at speeds of 65 miles per hour or more on a highway? If so, then you have witnessed manual distracted driving. The safest way to drive is to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Reaching for objects inside a vehicle, lighting cigarettes, eating and drinking, or adjusting knobs on a dashboard place all nearby motorists and pedestrians at great risk for injury.
  • It seems a natural instinct to turn your head to see what's going on at the side of the road if police cars, ambulances, crashed vehicles and people are gathered. Curiosity gets the best of many passing motorists; the only problem is that if the person straining to watch an unfolding scene also happens to be driving at the time, all it takes is a few seconds for another collision to occur. This is visual distraction.
  • Thinking about last night's date, a grocery list or a problem at work may cause mental¬†distraction.¬†Police officers often report that drivers in collisions describe themselves as being lost in thought moments before the crash occurred.

By keeping your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and thoughts attentive to the task of driving, you may lower your risk for collision. Ignoring intruding thoughts, commotions inside and outside the vehicle, and keeping both hands on the wheel may be difficult, but doing so saves lives.

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