Many New York residents fall into the bad habit of doing certain things behind the wheel that can take their focus off the road. Distracted driving can happen to anyone; unfortunately, it’s a practice that can lead to severe accidents. These are some of the facts and risks of it.
Types of distracted driving
There are three types of distracted driving: cognitive, manual and visual. Cognitive causes a person’s mind to drift from their driving, manual distractions cause hands to shift from the steering wheel and visual distractions cause a person’s eyes to focus on something other than the road.
Many forms of distracted driving involve one, two or even all three distractions. Texting is considered one of the most dangerous because it requires all three. Due to that fact, it’s not surprising that many motor vehicle accidents stemming from distracted driving involve drivers who were texting.
In addition to using a hand-held cell phone for texting, there are other common ways drivers become distracted. Some of them involve phone calls, eating or drinking, fiddling with music controls or GPS, checking on passengers in the backseat, conversing with passengers and even daydreaming.
Risks of distracted driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), looking away from the road to check a phone even for a few seconds is comparable to driving blindly. Car accidents caused by distractions account for around 10% of all fatalities and approximately 18% of all serious injuries on the roads.
The NHTSA reported that around 3,000 people are killed annually due to distracted driving accidents. Many that occurred from 2010 to 2019 were caused by younger drivers between the ages of 15 and 20.
It’s impossible to completely avoid all distractions while driving; however, you can minimize your risk by enabling Do Not Disturb mode on your phone and using defensive driving to your advantage.