Even the safest drivers can find themselves not paying attention to the road and their surroundings. While it's easy to lose your focus when driving, never forget that doing so greatly increases the risk of an accident.
There are three different forms of distracted driving, all of which you want to avoid:
- Visual distraction: This occurs when your eyes focus on anything but the road. An example would be reading a GPS device or map.
- Cognitive distraction: Also known as mental distraction, this happens when you're not focused on driving. There is something else on your mind, such as what you're going to do this weekend or a conversation you had with a client at work.
- Manual distraction: As the name implies, this occurs when you take one or both hands off the steering wheel. This can happen when changing radio stations, eating, drinking, smoking or grabbing for something under your seat (among many other actions).
All of these forms of distracted driving are dangerous, as they don't allow you to focus all your attention on the task at hand.
Certain activities, such as texting and driving, are even more dangerous since they encompass all three forms of distractions.
When driving, pay attention to other drivers to ensure that they're watching the road. You may be surprised at the number of people you see who are texting, talking on the phone or doing something else.
If you're involved in a distracted driving accident, call 911 for help and administer first aid until paramedics arrive. After you receive treatment, you'll have time to file an insurance claim and consider how you can hold the negligent driver responsible.