According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving topped the list of factors leading to car crashes or near-crashes in 2017. Everyone thinks that these types of accidents won’t ever happen to them — until they do.
Most people assume distracted driving refers strictly to texting and smartphone usage. While these activities remain some of the most dangerous distractions, several other routine driving activities also cause distracted driving.
Driving requires visual attention, manual stability and mental focus, so avoid:
- Taking your eyes off the road (Visual)
- Taking your hands off the wheel (Manual)
- Taking your mind off what you’re doing (Cognitive)
Texting requires all of these, making it one of the most dangerous distractions to a driver. But it’s not the only way to distract yourself. Have you ever taken your eyes off the road to adjust the temperature or radio in your car? Ever ordered a quick bite to eat on a road trip and decided to save time and just eat while driving? Have you ever been late and lost and too focused on GPS?
Do your turn to yell at your children fighting in the back seat?Ever been in a rush to get somewhere so you apply your makeup in the car?
For even the best drivers, these activities represent distracted driving. It seems like these are just simple tasks when in reality, these take your eyes off the road remain dangerous — and in some cases, deadly.
Say you’re driving 55 mph down the road and your phone buzzes. You check it because you’ve been waiting on a call all day. You claim your eyes were off the road for only a second. It’s estimated that those who take their eyes off the road for little tasks as such, do so for about five seconds. Those five seconds your eyes leave the road, you’ve covered the length of a football field – blindfolded.
There’s research showing that the brain remains distracted for 27 seconds after performing any of these activities. This allows for plenty of time to cause an accident.
Next time you’re out on the road, set up your navigation before taking off, ask the passenger for help if needed, don’t text or talk on the phone and focus on the road.
Eliminate these distracting habits while driving and keep yourself and others out of harm’s way.
Although we cannot prevent car accidents, O’Neill’s Body Shop can help you get your vehicle back on the road looking and driving as good as new. If your car has been in an accident, O’Neill’s Body Shop is here to help, no appointment needed.