Distracted Driving: Three Dangerous Consequences

by | Nov 8, 2019 | Motor vehicle accidents

We tend to associate the term “distracted driving” with images of texting teens or adults fidgeting with their smartphones, but this problem is actually as old as the automobile. Any activity or circumstance that takes your focus away from the road or your control of the vehicle can be considered a cause of distracted driving. Here is a list of reminders why distracted driving is such a danger on our state’s roadways.

Three Ways Distracted Driving Spells Trouble For Other Motorists

Consequence #1: Not Driving With The Whole Brain

When we listen to a smartphone conversation, even if the device is in hands-free mode, studies show that our attention on driving is reduced by nearly 40 percent. Because road and traffic conditions can change in a split-second, not driving with our entire brain engaged can be extremely dangerous.

Consequence #2: Out-Of-Body Driving Experiences

Mental distraction, which was mentioned in the previous example, is one of three main sources of driver distraction. The other two are visual distraction, such as taking your eyes off the road to adjust your radio, and physical distraction, where you might reach to catch a file folder before it falls off your seat.

Some visual and physical distractions are relatively low risk if they happen rarely, but if your car drives involve a series of “minor” distractions, the chances of one of them putting you and other drivers at risk goes up exponentially.

Consequence #3: Normalizing Dangerous Behavior

Surveys reveal that more than 90 percent of drivers recognize that distracted driving is dangerous, yet more than a third of them admitted sending a text message or email while driving within the past month. Beyond the risk to your own safety, distracted driving sends the wrong message to teen drivers, who are two to three times more likely to text or use their smartphones while driving.

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