As drivers gain experience they become much more comfortable on the roads. This can lead to the false perception that driving doesn’t require high levels of concentration. This is certainly not the case, as drivers must make split-second decisions constantly on their journeys. They cannot become distracted.
Unfortunately, some drivers do become distracted and this can result in accidents. Studies indicate that distracted driving is a factor in approximately 8% of all fatal road traffic collisions.
Thus, it’s important to be aware of some of the more common types of driving distractions. Outlined below are a few things to look out for:
Cell phones and other electronic devices are among the most notable types of distractions. Some drivers like to make calls during their journey and even send or read text messages. Reading a text typically takes a few seconds, which may not sound like much, but when traveling at speed, this means covering a significant distance blindly.
The temptation to read or send texts often comes when stopped in traffic. Hazards don’t disappear when the car is stationary. In fact, a significant number of accidents occur in traffic jams and at intersections.
Eating or drinking
It’s nearly impossible to eat or drink something hands-free, which means that at least one of a driver’s hands will be taken away from operating the vehicle. Furthermore, if a driver is consuming hot food items or beverages, these may spill and burn the individual, completely distracting them from the potential hazards on the road.
Lost in thought
Not all distractions are physical. A person can become distracted if they are tired or stressed. Cognitive distractions take the driver’s attention away from where it needs to be, which is on the road, other vehicles and pedestrians.
You can only control your own actions and ensure you don’t become distracted. Unfortunately, this won’t stop someone else from causing you harm. If a distracted driver has crashed into you, be sure to look into your legal options.