Driving distractions endanger motorists, passengers, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, animals, and more. Operating a motor vehicle is a skill that requires full concentration.
Cell phones are an obvious diversion, but drivers are exposed to a long list of other distractions as well.
A driving distraction is anything that takes the motorist's attention away from the task at hand.
- Visual distractions take the driver's eyes off the roadway. Examples include road signs, billboards, crash scenes, construction zones, landscape, GPS maps, etc.
- Manual distractions take the driver's hands off the steering wheel These are activities like grooming, reaching for objects, eating, drinking, adjusting temperature or radio controls, and more.
- Cognitive distractions cause the driver to think about something other than operating the vehicle. The activities already mentioned take the motorist's mind off driving as do talking on a hands-free device, visiting with passengers, and daydreaming.
Motorists of all ages are encouraged to recommit to staying focused behind the wheel during distracted driving awareness month, and all year long.