Many people have already been warned about the dangers associated with texting and driving or talking on the phone and driving. However, with such a strong focus on cell phone use, many drivers are not even thinking about other activities that could cause distractions when they are behind the wheel.
Distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that almost anything can be a distraction as you are driving.
Keep your eyes on the road
Anything that requires you to take your eyes off the road can be a visual distraction. Apart from reading a text message, this can also include looking out the window at the scene of an accident, admiring a sunset, looking for an item on the floor or checking on children in the backseat.
Keep your hands on the wheel
Manual distractions require you to take your hands off the steering wheel. Examples can include adjusting temperature controls, changing the radio station, entering information into a GPS device, eating, drinking or smoking.
Keep your mind on the task of driving
Cognitive distractions may be most often overlooked by drivers. Cognitive distractions involve your mind being on something other than driving. Examples can include, reprimanding children, carrying an emotional conversation, thinking about something that makes you feel emotional, daydreaming and road rage.
Texting while driving is an especially dangerous distraction because it is visual, manual and cognitive, and talking on the phone while driving isn’t much safer. However, almost any type of multitasking when driving can put your life and the lives of others in danger.