Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the road, and it includes more than just texting or talking on the phone. Minnesota drivers who store their phones while behind the wheel might use a GPS or drink coffee. Distracted driving is dangerous and much more common than people think.
Anything that occupies a driver’s mind or vision is a form of distracted driving, and it is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. Using cell phones or texting is a focal point in studies, but any multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous. Drivers eating, drinking or talking to passengers are more dangerous on the roads. Some people may read something or fix their hair while driving. Programming a GPS and adjusting the radio or MP3 player are common forms of distracted driving.
The brain can only process a certain amount of information at a time. When multitasking while driving, a person can run into performance issues. Multitasking competes for drivers’ attention and may cause motor vehicle accidents.
Drivers should always look where they’re driving to keep everyone safe. People are often driving while not looking forward. Visually distracted drivers are as dangerous as drivers with their eyes closed. Drivers texting while driving at 56 mph is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with their eyes shut. Texting takes about 4.6 seconds on average, which raises the chances of motor vehicle accidents. Accident chances increase when applying makeup, reaching for items, reading, eating and adjusting music. The reason texting is so dangerous is because it takes visual, manual and cognitive distraction at the same moment.
Distracted driving may seem harmless, but any time away from the road is dangerous. Drivers should have their focus on the road at all times. They should avoid sending texts or making calls until they arrive at their destination.