Understanding distracted driving categorization

Distracted driving has been a primary contributor to many auto accidents over the past two decades. As a result, legislatures in states like Illinois and Colorado have enhanced their driving laws regarding cellphone use while behind the wheel. There are three types of distractions that drivers should avoid falling victim to while driving.

Visual distractions

One of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents is drivers taking their eyes off of the road. It only takes a split second for a collision to occur; it can happen as quickly as it takes to glance down at something inside the vehicle or along the roadway. Watching what is happening around the vehicle is essential to safe driving, but eye focus should always be concentrated on the highway.

Cognitive distractions

Cognitive distractions occur when a driver's concentration is interrupted. These interruptions can happen even when a driver is focused on vehicle movement with their eyes on the road. Activities such as loud noises or conversations inside the vehicle can easily be a cause of cognitive attention disruption.

Manual distractions

Drivers should always use both hands when driving. Taking a hand off of the steering wheel for any reason can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Sudden movements are often followed by an over-corrective response that results in an auto accident when the vehicle jerks out of control.

Avoiding distracted driving is a primary element of defensive driving. The best policy for drivers is to keep their eyes on the road, keep both hands on the steering wheel, and only use a cellphone with a hands-free device when absolutely necessary.

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