If you drive, it is essential to understand what causes distracted driving in others; it has become a huge problem and a major cause of car accidents, abroad as well as here in the Sunshine State. There are three categories of distracted driving, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) which are:
- Taking your eyes off the road for some reason, for example to read something or look at a passenger sitting in the back seat.
- Removing your hands from the steering wheel to grab or move something, perhaps on the passenger seat.
- Daydreaming or just not having your mind focused on your driving.
These 3 categories are known as visual, manual, and cognitive and can be subdivided further, as these 9 types of distracted driving in Florida will show you:
1) Texting or Talking on the Phone
If you text, your attention is on your phone screen, rather than the road. And not only are your eyes off the road, but one of your hands too. Turning your phone off or putting it out of reach can help to resist the temptation to text or talk on the phone when driving. Talking while driving is just as dangerous as texting unless you use a hands-free device.
2) Operating the Controls on Your Vehicle
It is safer to pull over if you need to adjust the radio or audio system, heating or cooling or program the navigation system, although most of us don’t do that. An accident can happen all too easily in the few seconds that you are not paying attention while trying to find a favorite radio station.
3) Eating or Drinking
Like using your phone, your attention is not on the road if you are reaching for a cup of coffee or a snack while driving.
4) Talking to Others in the Vehicle
It is all too easy to find yourself turning around to look at someone in the passenger seat or even the back seat when talking to them. Of course, most of us routinely drive with at least one passenger in the car, but you want to make sure you do not get into an accident due to being overly distracted.
5) Personal Grooming
Grooming yourself, which includes combing your hair, putting on makeup or shaving are all activities that should be carried out before you get behind the wheel. Or at least make sure you are stationary and not driving when doing that.
You will probably be using two hands to light a cigarette, which makes smoking a potentially dangerous activity to do while driving. And if you smoke, you are probably only driving with one hand on the wheel, after lighting the cigarette.
7) Reaching For Something
You take your eyes off the road and one hand off the steering wheel if you reach for an object while driving. Whether it is your phone, a candy bar or a child’s toy, it can be fatally distracting.
8) Distractions On the Road
An unusually dressed person, a striking billboard, a uniquely designed building, or an accident in another lane. These are all distractions which can make you take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds or even longer.
If you are driving, you obviously should not be reading as well, whether it is a book or the info on your navigation system. Stop your car somewhere if you are driving and you need to read a map, the instructions on something, or program directions into the GPS.
Two steps are especially important if you or someone else has been injured in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted by one of the above.
- Your doctor or medical team may instruct you to seek medical treatment; it is important to follow their instructions and to continue such treatment until instructed otherwise.
- Your injuries may mean that you are eligible for compensation, and consulting with an experienced attorney is recommended.