Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility due to the dangers that could occur as a result of user error. It doesn’t take much for a driver to be so distracted that they end up crashing into another vehicle, or worse, a pedestrian that was simply crossing the road.
Every day, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured as a result of distracted driving. The most common description of distracted driving is when the driver is performing an activity that diverts their attention away from the road.
Distracted driving can usually be categorized into one of the following:
- Cognitive distractions such as thinking about something not related to driving or driving while tired, drunk or under the influence of drugs.
- Physical distractions such as taking your hands off the wheel and using them to control your phone or consume food.
- Visual distractions like watching your phone while you drive or staring at billboards instead of looking at the road while the car is in motion.
- Audio distractions such as playing music too loud so you can’t hear the cars around you in case there’s an emergency.
Distracted driving typically involves one or a combination of the four causes listed above. For instance, having a passenger sitting next to you and speaking to you could be a combination of audio, visual and cognitive distractions. Anything that takes your attention away from driving is considered a distraction and the faster the car is moving, the more dangerous these distractions become.
Consequences of distracted driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor accidents in the United States. Over a thousand people are injured every day as a result of distracted driving, and it’s often not the driver who is on the receiving end of the injury. In many cases, distracted drivers could crash into pedestrians, other smaller vehicles or even cause pile-ups that injure dozens of people and cause delays.
In a worst-case scenario, your actions could cost you the life of an innocent person or even your own. This is why it’s important to highlight these distractions and minimize them as best as possible so that you keep your eyes on the road and not something like your phone.
Why is distracted driving a growing problem?
Nowadays, modern technology has given us countless ways to stay connected to our loved ones and stay in touch with our friends even when we’re thousands of miles apart. Smartphone technology has made it easy for us to stay in touch with everything that’s happening in the world, and this is generally the main source of distractions.
In addition, modern vehicle technology has made it possible to watch and listen to all types of content while driving to ease the boredom of driving, but they can also be huge distractions which could lead to a collision. Lastly, it’s very common to drive with passengers and converse at the same time, but this can often lead to accidents especially if the driver is inexperienced.