Distracted driving isn’t just one bad habit, like texting at the wheel. It is actually any activity that diminishes your focus on the task of driving safely. Given that so many people think of distracted driving as synonymous with texting while driving, they may engage in other dangerous behaviors without realizing the risks.
What are the three main kinds of distracted driving?
Watching the road can be a very monotonous task. Staring at the lines in the road for long hours can produce the state known to some as highway hypnosis. Still, trying to distract yourself by looking somewhere else is an unsafe decision. You should keep your eyes on the road at all times unless you need to check the display lights of your vehicle for your speed or other safety concerns.
You can keep looking straight ahead and still take one of your hands off the wheel, possibly increasing your reaction time if something unexpected happens in front of your vehicle. You need to make sure you keep your hands on the wheel as much as possible. Anything that takes your hands off the wheel — ranging from taking a sip of coffee to changing the radio station — is a potential source of distraction.
The most common form of distraction is also the hardest to prevent. Daydreaming, planning out a to-do list in your head or otherwise mentally focusing on something other than road conditions and maintaining careful control of the vehicle could potentially lead to a crash.
Texting while driving receives so much attention in part because it is a perfect example of all three kinds of distraction in one activity. Being able to identify distracted driving can help you stand up for yourself if you get into a crash caused by a distracted driver.