One of the rapidly growing causatives of car accidents in Illinois is driving while distracted. Anything that can take your focus or concentration out of the road is as dangerous as driving when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So, let us look at the common cognitive distractions, why they are dangerous and how to overcome them.
What is a cognitive distraction?
Cognitive distraction is when something diverts your focus from driving. It equates to impairment and is also predominant in increasing the risk of car accidents. Statistics have shown that driving at 55mph while checking your phone for four seconds is similar to driving blindfolded for more than the length of a football field.
Common causes of cognitive distractions
Daydreaming – When going somewhere, your mind can wander off to thinking about what you will do when you get to your destination, what you did previously, or just thinking about anything else. Indulging too much in these thoughts can make you forget about driving for a moment or force your mind to drive on autopilot. An unexpected occurrence on the road can catch you off-guard, causing an accident.
Talking to other people while driving – You could be driving with your friends, family, or children in the car. They can talk about a topic or do something that can take your mental attention off driving and even your eyes off the road.
Other distractions – That text notification or call that got you wondering who that could be and what they want to say is already a distraction, let alone actually looking at it. Another major cognitive distraction is listening to the radio and getting immersed in a topic that steals your attention away.