You probably already have a pretty good idea about the some of the dangers of distracted driving. With the frequently publicized national anti-texting-and-driving campaigns and the increasingly stiffer laws that prohibit and fine people for using their phones while driving, most people tend to equate distracted driving with phones alone. But there are actually many different types of distracted driving that people do not think about.
What are some commonly overlooked types of distracted driving?
Below are three things people do while driving that can significantly increase the risk of crashing. The reason that most people overlook these distractions is not because they are not hazardous, but because they are so common that people think it is normal. Do you regularly do any of the following while driving?
As a nation of people who are always on the go, eating and drinking en route is commonplace. But it is certainly far from safe.
Eating distracts drivers from the road manually (unwrapping or scooping food), as well as visually (looking down at your food, cleaning up spills and crumbs). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), eating and drinking while driving increases your risk of crashing by a whopping 80 percent. If you are hungry, pull over or wait until you are at your destination to have your meal.
Talking to passengers
Talking to passengers is a common form of distraction that many drivers do not even see as dangerous. However, the fact is, you are approximately 60 percent more likely to have a motor vehicle crash when you have passengers, according to The University of Sydney.
Passengers can distract drivers in many ways. Being involved in a conversation can be dangerous because:
- It takes your mind off the road: You may focus more on the conversation at hand rather than driving.
- It takes your eyes off the road: You may glance frequently at them during the conversation.
- It takes your hands off the wheel: During your conversation you may even reach out to touch them.
In addition, some younger drivers drive more recklessly when they have their peers with them, endangering everyone.
Listening to music
Listening to music may make rides more fun, but it can also make them more dangerous. If you get wrapped up the lyrics or the content of the radio show, your mind will not be as focused on your surroundings.
Moreover, fumbling around with the radio distracts your eyes, mind, and hand – all of which you need to drive.
Ready to make a pledge to drive less distractedly?
Want to make a commitment to eliminate unnecessary distractions and drive more consciously? Take the distracted driving pledge, provided by the NHTSA. For more interesting articles about roadway safety, visit our blog or follow us on Facebook.