What is distracted driving? Most of us would answer texting or answering a call. But is that it? Let’s take a closer look at this. Have you ever forgotten to take a turn or made a wrong turn? Or perhaps when you reach your office, you might have questioned yourself, I reached? I barely noticed!’. Never thought of it as distracted driving? Albeit, if you have experienced this, you are not alone.
It’s actually your sixth sense that guides you on your usual route by picking patterns from your cognitive memory. But your sixth sense might not always come in handy. There are a lot more types of distracted driving types that become the cause of many accidents in the state. To give you some numbers, more than 4000 people were killed in the US by distracted drivers in 2019, and many more were injured.
So here are a few types of distracted driving, that will make you realize that distracted driving is beyond using a cell phone. Have a look!
Just yesterday, when I was on the road, the latest model of my favorite car brand caught my eye. Immediately, all my attention was focussed on that car. And to such an extent that I almost turned right (following the car) instead of going straight (to my destination). And voila! I realized how distracted I was for those few minutes on the road. This type of distracted driving is called visual. If you say you have no interest in cars, it could be your attention to your car’s GPS, using music controls, etc. Rubbernecking a cute dog in another car, roadside billboard, a lovely dress in a store window, also count. Even a beautiful sunset view (if you are lucky to live in such a neighborhood) can be distracting.
2. Manual Distractions:
Also found aplenty, manual distractions are the most common ones. A majority of distractions on the road occur when one is busy texting or calling while on the wheel. As per a popular survey, it was revealed that a majority of working people had the pressure to respond immediately to a work message. Another chunk found clicking photos and using social media as a reason for this type of distracted driving. Meanwhile, eating, drinking, or reaching for a fallen object while driving also come under the manual types of distracted driving.
3. Cognitive Distractions
Cognitive distraction is what we discussed in the first part. The stress of our work or personal life can be a significant cause behind it. Fancying a date with your crush, memory of an unpleasant incident, or planning a text in your mind, all account for cognitive distraction. Even being engrossed in a conversation with a passenger, might lead to cognitive distraction. It is one of the worst distractions as its hard to recognize or to stay immune to.
To avoid accidents due to distracted driving, the state of Missouri has specific rules in place. While unlike other US states, Missouri has not completely banned the use of mobiles while driving. However, this ban applies to drivers below 21 years of age. If a driver below 21, is found guilty, he could be fined, along with the suspension of driving privileges.
Its more like, to get distracted or not to get distracted is more in our hands. While there are no severe prohibitions in this regard for drivers above 21 in the state, being responsible and alert is the key. Don’t let a simple phone call, work pressure, and other distractions are the reason for an unwanted accident. Do your best to keep all these types of distracted driving at bay.
So next time you are on the road, pay attention to the task at hand.