We all know the importance of not texting while driving. However, we at ivalueSafety.com want to raise the awareness on why texting while driving is so dangerous. The act of texting while driving involves all 3-forms of distracted driving simultaneously which is also known as a Triple Threat. The 3-forms of distracted driving are per the following:
1) Cognitive Distraction
Cognitive or mental distraction is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Talking to another passenger or being preoccupied with personal, family, or work-related issues are some examples.
Even drivers listening to their favorite podcast or radio station are at risk; the audio can take drivers’ focus away from their driving and overall surroundings.
2) Visual Distraction
Visual distraction occurs when a driver looks at anything other than the road ahead. Drivers who check the kids’ seat belts while driving are visually distracted. Electronic devices for the car, such as GPS devices and portable DVDs/digital entertainment systems, also distract drivers.
3) Manual Distraction
Manual distraction is when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel for any reason. Some common examples include eating and drinking in the car, adjusting the GPS, or trying to get something from a purse, wallet, or briefcase.
In general, driving and multitasking is a deadly combination. Whether you are texting, reprogramming a GPS, eating/drinking etc. your focus on driving is distracted which impacts your ability to react to constant changing conditions. A person driving at 55 m.p.h. will travel over 400 feet in 5 seconds which is longer than the length of a football field. Therefore, a distracted driver is basically driving blindfolded for 400 feet at 55 MPH. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a cause of roughly 424,000 accident-related injuries and some 3,154 fatalities in 2013 alone.
5 tips to avoid common driving distractions
Keeping your focus on the road can be easier said than done. Here are some things you can do to avoid this common problem.
Turn off your cell phone — even if you’re expecting an important business call.
If you need to be reachable at all times, get a hands-free device to use only in case of emergency. Why only in emergencies? Because studies have shown that hands-free devices prove just as distracting as normal cell phone use while driving.
When driving with children or pets, make sure the kids are strapped into their seats and pets are in carriers. If they need your attention during the drive, pull over before handling the situation.
Eat before or after you drive. Just don’t eat while driving.