In 2020, there were 3,142 deaths caused by distracted driving. When drivers get behind the wheel, they often bring with them other distractions from their busy lives. Things like texts, phone calls, work emails, music, children in the back seat, eating or drinking and more can quickly turn an everyday car journey into a dangerous accident. With all these distractions, you may be wondering, “What is the most dangerous type of distracted driving?” Read on to find out.
What exactly is distracted driving and which type is most dangerous?
Simply put, distracted driving is any activity or object that takes your attention away from the road. To dive deeper, distracted driving can be divided into three categories: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive distractions include anything that takes your mind off the road like talking to someone or daydreaming. Visual distractions are things that take your eyes off the road such as looking at a building or sign. Manual distractions are actions that take your hands off the wheel.
Studies show that the most dangerous form of distracted driving is texting or calling while behind the wheel. Cell phones worsen all three types of distracted driving simultaneously, making them a triple threat to your safety and the safety of others. Whether you̵7;re a driver, passenger or parent, you have a responsibility to stop distracted driving and to do your part. See how.
How drivers can stop distracted driving.
- Never multitask. Whether you’re putting on makeup, eating, or answering the phone, your driving skills deteriorate as soon as you start multitasking. Take time to finish things before you get behind the wheel, like choosing music or answering an email first. And if something requires your immediate attention, step over to address the issue.
- Keep your phone away. Notifications can draw your attention away from the road and tempt you to reach for your phone. There are apps to help avoid cell phone use on the road. Even just putting your phone on silent or out of sight can make a big difference.
- Set rules for your car. Even if your friends or family are in your car, make it known that you prioritize driving. Don’t be afraid to speak up if someone is making it hard to concentrate. It is important to be as safe as possible on the way to your destination. Once you’re there, you can focus on the fun.
How passengers can help stop distracted driving.
- Reduce distractions. Keep the driver’s focus on the road by helping when you can. Be the navigator, texter or DJ for the trip so they can avoid multitasking. Also, don’t become a distraction yourself. Let the driver pay attention to his job.
- Express your concerns. If your driver keeps getting distracted or multitasking while driving, let them know you’re uncomfortable. It’s the driver’s job to get everyone to their destination safely… don’t let them forget that.
How parents can help stop distracted driving.
- Understand and teach the rules. Make sure you understand the laws in your state to be the best teacher for your children. Then repeat these rules and their importance to your children. It’s not just the job of a driving class to teach your child the rules of the road – it helps when you reinforce them too.
- Set expectations in place. Before your child starts driving, fill out the Frankenmuth Insurance Safe Driving Agreement to start the safe driving conversation. Whether you’re enforcing your own family’s driving rules or obeying the law, make sure it’s understood that there are consequences when those rules are broken. It’s important to set safety expectations before your teens start driving.
- Be the best example. Set a good model to drive yourself. Your child is making sure you learn to drive, so enforce the rules and habits you want them to follow in your own car. Don’t use your phone or be distracted by it while driving.
Now that you know the most dangerous type of distracted driving, take steps to stop it behind the wheel, in the passenger seat, and with your family. Even with these tips in mind, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important to get the right coverage for your vehicle. Talk to a local, independent agent today.