Distracted driving is one of the major causes of auto crashes. According to Wikipedia, distracted driving involves the act of driving and doing something else that takes away your attention from the road.
As a driver, you must understand some of the possible solutions for distracted driving. That way, you will be safer while driving. At the same time, you wouldn’t be putting the lives of other road users in danger.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
One would think that one of the dangers of distracted driving is auto crashes. While that is the most common, it isn’t all.
Some other dangers of distracted driving include:
- Getting the passengers into panic mode, as they become scared when your full attention isn’t on the road.
- The risk of getting a speeding ticket, especially when you over-speed while chatting.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are different types of distracted driving. It goes beyond just texting and driving at the same time. In this distracted driving checklist, you will find out some of the common types of bad driving habits.
1. Visual Distracted Driving
This type of distracted driving happens when you take your eyes off the road. For emphasis, your “eyes ought to be on the road as long as you are driving.” An accident can happen in a few seconds.
When you take your eyes off the road, you might just be increasing such risks. Taking your eyes off the road could be for different reasons, including:
- To read a text that just came in.
- Reply to a chat on your social media account.
- Text someone
- Answer a call or call someone.
2. Manual Distracted Driving
It is called manual because it is more of a conscious effort. Manual distracted driving refers to a driver who decides to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. By this, you may lose control of the car at some point.
3. Cognitive Distracted Driving
Do you know that driving has a lot to do with the mind? But how could the mind possibly be a factor in regulating how you drive.
You don’t just drive with your hands – you also drive with your thoughts. It is through the thinking process that you know when to slow down a bit and when to speed up.
So, when you take off your thoughts from the driving process, it becomes an agent of distracted driving. This is what is generally called Cognitive Distracted Driving.
When you start thinking of something else when driving, you are said to be indulging in Cognitive Distracted Driving.
4. Auditory Distracted Driving
This type of distracted driving isn’t as pronounced as the others, but it is relevant. Auditory Distracted Driving has to do with the distractions created by audio. It could be listening to someone in the car talking or tuning into a radio program.
Another example of Auditory Distracted Driving is when your mobile phone rings and for a moment, you are distracted by the sound.
Effective Solutions for Texting and Driving
You can contribute your quota towards stopping the increase in cases of texting and driving. In this section, we talk about the six (6) different solutions for distracted driving.
1. Keep Your Phone Away
Using a phone while driving is the major cause of distracted driving. What did they say about solving a problem by stopping what caused it in the first place?
Consider putting your phone away while driving. Honestly, you don’t need your device while driving because your focus should be on the road before you.
Some drivers came up with the idea of using a portable phone holder to keep their phones while driving.
This may only be feasible in the short term. When the phone rings, you will be distracted, thereby, defeating the entire purpose.
2. Don’t Eat While Driving
Eating while driving is also one of the major causes of distracted driving. The best way to tackle this is to eat before you start driving.
Besides, eating while driving isn’t encouraged because you may spill the food on yourself. In that instant second, you may be inclined to bend to pick the crumbs and that leads to more distractions.
3. Feeling Drowsy? Pull off the Road
It doesn’t make sense to keep driving when you feel drowsy. Except you have a co-driver with you, it is better to pull off the road and get enough rest.
4. Ask Someone to Take Over
Do you have a passenger that can drive too? It is worth it to ask the person to take over while you focus on the things that could have distracted you.
Whether it is to text someone, make a call, or chat, you are safer doing that as a passenger than as a driver.
5. Don’t Distract Others
Sometimes, when talks of distracted driving are made, we think it is limited to drivers. In retrospect, it is an all-around concept that affects everyone. Both drivers and passengers may be subject to distracted driving at one point or the other.
You might be a distractor to someone else. As a passenger, speaking loudly when on a call can distract the driver. Playing loud music from your device while in transit can distract the driver. Likewise, calling someone you know to be driving at the time can cause the person to be distracted for some time.
Therefore, always evaluate the situation before you act. If you feel what you are about to do might be a distraction, you might just as well suspend it.
6. Make a Vow to Yourself not to become Distracted
Sometimes, the promises we make to ourselves can be one of the major solutions for distracted driving.
Make a vow to yourself and promise not to engage in anything that will make you distracted while driving.
It could be a promise not to drink while driving, text while driving, or eat while driving. It may also be a firm promise not to call a friend or family member when you are driving.
Facts About Distracted Driving: What You Need to Know
While we talk about solutions for distracted driving, it is also important to note the facts. Here are some of the important facts you need to know about distracted driving:
- Accidents attributed to distracted driving take between 3 and 5 seconds.
- Texting and driving cover the four (4) major types of distracted driving. For example, you need to take your hands off the steering wheel to use the device (manual distracted driving). For visually distracted driving, your eyes are off the road and focused on the device. You would be thinking of something else, probably a reply to a text (cognitive distracted driving). Auditory distracted driving comes into play when your phone rings or when you have to call someone and put it on speaker.
- About 80% of road accidents are attributed to distracted driving.
- It takes about 13 seconds to refocus on something, which is about the same time it takes your brain to adapt to new surroundings. Within this time, an accident might occur.
Conclusion: Play Your Part to Reduce Distracted Driving
From the distracted driving statistics, you can see that the dangers far outweigh the benefits. As a driver, you have a role to play in the reduction of auto crashes attributed to distracted driving.
You can become safer on the road when you implement our tips on how to avoid being distracted while driving. Although distracted driving technology solutions like automated driving coaching can help, you want to put in your efforts at the onset. Take a cue from our proposed solutions for distracted drivers to increase your safety and that of your passengers while driving.