California defines distracted driving as anything that makes you take your eyes or attention off of safely operating your vehicle. Many people know that texting while driving is distracted driving, but they aren’t aware that other habits could also fall under this issue.
Motor vehicle accidents are often the result of cognitive distractions. When you take your mind off of the road for just a second, that could be enough time to cause a wreck. The faster that you’re driving, the more likely it is you’ll get into an accident because your car is covering more ground.
Talking to your passengers, while commonplace, is a cognitive distraction. To reduce accidents on the road, it’s best to wait until you’re done driving to talk.
Driving while under the influence of drugs and drowsy driving are two other forms of cognitive distractions. Your brain isn’t functioning at its best when you have alcohol or another type of drug in your system. Drugs impair your perception, decision-making skills and hand-eye coordination.
A visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off of the road. They naturally count as cognitive distractions too because when your eyes are off of the road, your mind is also no longer on the road. Examples of visual distractions are looking at a passenger, texting, changing the radio station and looking at the GPS.
Manual distractions cause you to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel. Eating and drinking food while driving are examples of manual distractions. Other manual distractions are smoking, changing the radio station and adjusting your music.
Distracted driving doesn’t just involve taking your eyes off of the road. Moving your hands off of the steering wheel and attempting to multitask are also forms.