Anything that takes away your attention from driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, reports by CDC show that in 2018 alone, there were over 40,000 injuries and 2800 car accident deaths resulting from distracted driving.
Some years back, cell phones were the primary cause of distracted driving. But today, even the built-in modern car systems have become a threat.
Top 5 modern distractions for new car owners
1. Cognitive and stress distractions
More than 60% of distracted driver accidents result from stress and deep thoughts. A driver can experience total cognitive distraction that takes away their attention from the task at hand. This mainly happens due to stress after a tiresome day at work, lack of proper sleep, or overexcitement.
The best way to avoid cognitive distractions is to take some time after work to relax your mind. Additionally, create enough time to sleep amid all the chaos in the modern world. With this, you will be fully prepared to hit the road.
Cognitive distraction could also be a result of drunkenness. Alcohol alters your mind and thoughts. You can easily get deep into your imagination because you are not thinking straight. Reports show that 42% of accidents are caused by alcohol or drug consumption in California, showing just how dangerous driving under the influence can get.
2. Cell phone distractions
In the modern era, nearly everyone owns a smartphone. Unfortunately, these hand-held devices are becoming even more addictive because of social media platforms and other modern-day applications.
The worst thing about cell phone distraction is that it encompasses all types of distractions – cognitive, manual, and visual distractions. Luckily, you can avoid this type of distraction when driving by switching off the phone or keeping it away in silent mode. A good practice is to wait until you stop at a safe place or get to your destination before you can use your phone.
3. Pairing your smart devices with your car
Modern vehicles are moving high-performance computers. They come with lots of features to enhance safety, comfort, and performance. While most of these features are very effective in whatever they do, they can be a great source of distraction.
For example, pairing your smartphone to the car may seem like a good idea. It helps you to access your phone features while keeping your hands on the wheels.
However, that is likely to cause distraction. Your mind will probably shift from the at-hand task as you use your voice to navigate different features. In return, this takes your attention off the road and could quickly result in a crash.
4. Reaching out to something while driving.
You could easily get tempted to reach out to your bag as you drive. For instance, you feel thirsty, and you immediately take one of your hands off the wheel to grab a bottle. Or your lips get dry, and something tells you to take your lip gloss from the bag and apply it while driving. Unfortunately, such manual distractions are also a leading cause of crashes.
5. Distractions by external factors
Distractions from external factors mainly happen when drivers diverge their attention from driving to roadside events. It could be an accident, an interesting event happening across the road, or even other passengers in the car. The worst part about visual distraction is the likelihood of other drivers on the same road getting distracted by the same thing, hence high chances of an accident.
Distracted driving is a serious issue. Whether it’s your phone, GPS navigation apps, radio, or other passengers in the car, any item or activity that takes your attention from driving should be avoided by all means. Doing this will help evade traffic tickets or being held liable for resulting accidents.