About eight people are killed every day in America from motor vehicle crashes that involve a distracted driver.
Nowadays, the concept of “distracted driving” usually leads us to think about drivers talking on their cell phones or being distracted from texting. But this is only one example of distracted driving and cell phone use is slowly declining on the list of distracted driving reasons.
There are three categories of distracted driving:
- Manual distraction, which is when a driver takes his hands off the wheel.
- Visual distraction, which is when a driver takes his eyes off the road.
- Cognitive distraction is when a driver takes his mind off the act of driving.
Conversing with a passenger is one example of a cognitive distraction. But even when you’re alone, you can lose focus on driving while listening to the radio, a podcast or a book. It’s easy enough to remove the temptation of looking at your cell phone and going hands free but staying focused on the road while listening to your favorite segment of Road Dog Trucking, for example, means you must stay focused when your mind is intently engaged elsewhere.
That is a situation better left alone. When your mind is not on the road you become “blind” to normal driving conditions. You see signs and turn signals and brake lights, but you may not register them. Ways to avoid cognitive distractions:
- Don’t multitask like driving and adjusting the cab temperature. Adjust the temperature and the
mirrors prior to leaving your last stop.
- Turn the radio station to something that entertains you without overwhelming your thoughts.
- Experts suggest listening to calming music.
- Take a deep breath and re-focus when you sense you’re not focused on the road.
The best bet is to always be hands free from cell phones or other devices, for sure. But focusing on staying focused is another good bet. And focusing on the road is a sure bet to keep you from having a bad day.