Distracted driving is a huge problem for Americans in all 50 states. In fact, in the United States in 2018 almost 3,000 people died as a result of distracted driving and nearly 400,000 people sustained injuries.
Even worse, one in five of these injuries involved persons who were not in vehicles, like pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the three main types of distracted driving are cognitive, visual and manual.
What kinds of distractions are these?
A cognitive distraction involves anything that removes your mind from driving. For example, daydreaming is a form of cognitive driving distraction. A manual driving distraction involves taking your hands off of the steering wheel for any reason. Eating in a car is an example of a manual distraction since you must use at least one hand to hold the food.
Finally, a visual distraction involves removing your eyes from the road in front of you. Looking down at the radio to change stations is an example of a visual distraction.
Who is most at risk?
It is very notable that texting while driving is a form of distracted driving that involves all three types of distraction. If you are texting while driving your eyes are not on the road, there is at least one hand holding a cell phone, and you are thinking about what is going into the text, not what is going on in front of the car.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that nearly 25% of distracted drivers are young adults. Particularly if you have young adults at home learning to drive, it is imperative that they understand how very dangerous distracted driving can be.