Distracted driving is a dangerous habit that seems to show no signs of stopping on our Colorado roads. Drivers can lose focus, become inattentive or simply take their hands off the steering wheel and become a hazard on highways and surface streets alike. While most drivers agree that activities such as texting or applying makeup are clearly distractions, there are numerous things that might not be as obvious.
What are some examples of “hidden” distractions?
Drivers often feel as if their level of experience allows them to perform certain activities or multitask while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there are some things they might not even consider distracting, such as:
- When your favorite song comes on the radio: It’s something that happens quite often on either the radio an mp3 player or a streaming service. Drivers can sing and dance along with the tune. While this might be fun to watch while a passenger or a driver in another vehicle, it is frightening to realize that the distracted driver might take their hands off the wheel while dancing, close their eyes while singing or simply lose focus on the road in front of them.
- A dog in the car: Most people have driven with a pet in the car. Unfortunately, those pets might hop back and forth from the front seat to the rear, try to sit on the driver’s lap, or perform other actions that could pull the driver’s eyes or hands from safely operating the vehicle.
- The use of hands-free technology: The numerous rules and regulations across the United States have strengthened the belief that a hands-free call is safer than actually touching the device. While it is possible that the driver maintains a level of control by keeping both hands on the wheel, the loss of focus is generally attributed to the conversation itself.
- Dining while driving: Eating or drinking while driving is nearly a universal activity. From drinking a travel mug of coffee on the way to work in the morning to grabbing a snack on the way home after a long shift, drivers are accustomed to performing this action. Unfortunately, eating and drinking can represent a cognitive distraction, a manual distraction and a visual distraction. It is better to simply wait until you’ve reached your destination.
While distracted driving is a common occurrence, it can often lead to devastating collisions. Depending on numerous factors, these collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If you identify a distracted driver on the road, steer clear of them as best you can.