What are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?

What are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?

Of the various distractions while driving, texting and eating are by far the most common. In this article, we will have a look at these and other such distractions, and also the dangers associated with them.
WheelZine Staff
Distractions are quite common in a range of daily activities, right from reading a nice novel to watching a good movie. Though they are not of much concern while we indulge in such simple activities, they can turn out to be disastrous when they occur during activities which demand full attention, such as studying or driving. In fact, when it comes to driving, these distractions can turn out to be hazardous; not just for you and your fellow passengers, but for other people on the road as well.
Dangers of Distracted Driving

When driving a vehicle, you need to have your attention on the road. Lack of attention in this case, is bound to result in inability to control the vehicle, which, in turn, may result in an accident. There are a number of reasons for a person to get distracted while driving, however, most of these reasons are attributed to our ignorance about the basics of driving safety.
Basically, driving requires proper coordination between the mind and body, and any failure in the coordination between the two is a perfect recipe for a disaster.
While some accidents are caused as a result of having our eyes off the road (visual distraction), others are caused as a result of having our mind off the road (cognitive distraction). Visual distractions include getting distracted by billboards or an accident along the road, while cognitive distractions include getting distracted by activities such as talking on the cell phone or being lost in ones own thoughts.
Other than these two, there is yet another type of driving distraction, wherein the driver takes his hands off the steering wheel. Actions which compel the driver to take either one or both hands off the steering wheel include texting, smoking, eating, etc.
According to a study on the driving habits of the people conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone-related distractions have a major share in the number of car crashes in the United States. These involve both, texting and talking on the phone while driving. Coming a close second is the driver's attempt to reach to a moving object within the vehicle while driving.
Other common distractions include looking outside the vehicle, personal grooming, reading, eating, smoking, drinking, billboard advertisements, and at times, even scenic beauty. Similarly, in some cases, the incidents happening within the car distract the driver. These include children playing within the car, a pet let loose in the car, or fellow passengers fighting over music selection.
How to Avoid these Distractions?

With so many ill-effects to its credit, getting distracted while driving can turn out to be dangerous, and hence, is best avoided. You just have to take some simple measures to ensure that you don't get distracted. These include avoiding the use of a cell phone, not attempting multitasking when driving, etc.
Basically, you need to take into consideration all the common distractions and make sure that you don't indulge in any of them. If you can't resist the urge to reply to a text message or smoke, you can always pull the car to the side of the road and satisfy you urge.
Parents are the biggest influence on children, and as a parent, you indulging in any such activity in the vehicle is bound to influence your children when they take the wheel. You should not just follow the norms of road safety, but should also inculcate them in your children. At the end of the day, these norms of safe driving are the ones that will make your journey safe.
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