When you get in the car to drive, you know that using your cell phone to talk or text or engaging in other types of distraction can put you at risk. But many drivers still decide to take this risk and endanger the lives of others on the road with them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S., approximately 3,000 people every year die in distracted driving collisions. There are also three separate types of distracted driving that can make getting into an injurious or fatal car accident more likely.
When you get in your car and stop focusing on driving, you become cognitively distracted. Examples of cognitive distraction include focusing on a conversation with a passenger or letting your mind wander as you travel down the road.
Visual distraction happens when you take your eyes off of the road in front of you. You can become visually distracted if you look down at your phone while you drive or if you look over at the radio to change the station.
Manual distraction occurs when you take one or both of your hands off the steering while your vehicle is in motion. For instance, you can become manually distracted if you reach for something on your passenger seat or if you try to eat something and drive.
Although all forms of distracted driving are dangerous, texting while driving is one of the most hazardous distracted driving activities. This is because it combines manual, cognitive and visual distractions all at the same time.