In the United States, distracted driving is a serious problem. Every day, about nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured – which means that 368,285 people are ultimately affected every year.
Of course, most people understand what distracted driving is, and even how dangerous it is. But what many do not know is that there are actually different types of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is all that takes your eyes off the road, hands of the wheel or tank from the unit.
Share on Twitter  The three different types of distracted driving are:
VISUAL: Take your eyes off the road
Example: Watch a GPS device, watch The entertainment center, looking at a passenger, looking around instead of looking forward
Chances are that when you think of distracted driving, you think of a visual distraction. That's what most people associate with distracted driving, because that's what makes the most sense. When a driver takes his eyes off the road, even if it's just for a split second, they also take their focus off the road. This makes these distractions particularly dangerous because drivers cannot consistently assess the environment.
MANUAL: Take the hands of the steering wheel
Example: Eat, drink, smoke, adjust radio / 19009000]
A manual distraction is when a driver takes his hand (s) for any reason, for any amount of time. Without both hands on the wheel, your reaction time suffers, and it also causes your ability to steer. Let's say you have a hand on a bud and suddenly a deer pops out in front of you. It takes at least a full second to take back the hand and at that moment you can crash directly into the deer. Not driving with two hands (preferably at 10 and 2) can cause you to run out of the road or into incoming traffic – and we certainly do not want to.
COGNITIVE: Take your mind off the device  Example: Listen to a podcast / audiobook, have a conversation on a hands-free device, daydream, talk to another passenger, feel busy with other problems  Cognitive distractions are deceptively dangerous because you can look like you're doing everything right. You can have your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, but if your mind drives, you are still distracted. To put it simply, when something else has caught your attention, you will have a hard time concentrating. You will not be so awake, which means you will not be as confident.
What is missing from the above descriptions? If you noticed that texting and driving were never offered as an example, it is because it does not fall into just one category. Believe it or not, subtitling and driving is dangerous because it combines all three types of distracted driving. When using a smartphone, take your eyes off the road, the hands of the steering wheel and think of driving. So, it's a triple threat – literally.
Feeling determined to be a better driver? Don't worry, we've covered you. Discover our quick tips to help you clear away distracted driving.
And make sure you are not distracted from reviewing your insurance annually either. To find out if you are properly protected, talk to us. An agent near you is now available.