Distracted driving is a pervasive problem in Illinois, as it is in all other states. Your focus should only be on operating your vehicle when you’re driving. Humans aren’t good with multitasking, and driving already involves keeping track of multiple factors. When you begin to add talking to others and eating on top of that, it increases your chance of getting into an accident.
Taking your eyes off of the road is a visual form of distracted driving. You shouldn’t read messages on an electronic device, look at a map, look at a passenger or check your reflection in the mirror while operating a vehicle. A few seconds of looking away can be all it takes to cause an accident. The faster your car is moving, the greater the risk because you’re covering more distance with your eyes not on the road.
Manual distracted driving is when you take your hands off of the wheel. This includes eating food, drinking, changing the song, applying makeup and handling pets. Keeping your hands in the proper placement on the steering wheel reduces the chance of an accident. Improper steering techniques are one of the top contributors to car crashes.
Cognitive distracted driving involves taking your mind off of driving. Cell phone use and talking with passengers count as cognitive distracted driving. The mind only has the ability to focus on one thing at a time. When you think you’re multitasking, you’re actually just rapidly changing your focus.
Distracted driving can occur in many different ways. The underlying factor of each type is shifting your focus away from the road and from safely operating your vehicle. For both your safety and the safety of others, you should train yourself to stay focused on your surroundings.