Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car accidents in the U.S., resulting in nearly 390,000 injuries every year and causing 3,166 deaths in 2017 alone. Most individuals instantly think of distracted driving as texting and driving, but in fact, distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention from driving.

There are 3 forms of distractions all drivers should keep in mind when they get behind the wheel:

1. Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off of the road. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Texting/using your cell phone
  • Setting a destination on your GPS
  • Checking your child’s seatbelt in the rearview mirror

2. Manual Distractions

Manual distractions are those that cause you to remove one or both of your hands from the wheel. Distractions of this nature could include:

  • Texting/using your cell phone
  • Eating & drinking
  • Reaching for an object out of your purse and/or wallet

3. Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions is a form of mental distraction that stops a driver from being focused on the task of driving. Some examples of cognitive distractions include:

  • Engaging in deep conversation with a passenger
  • Thinking of your response to text messages/social media
  • Being preoccupied with personal, family or work-related issues.

The most alarming factor of distracted driving accidents is that they are all entirely preventable. Cell phone use might be the leading form of distraction behind the wheel, but it most certainly is not the only form of distraction. The reason cell phone use is such an alarming danger is because it involves all three forms of distraction in one activity.

Teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving in today’s world because of how accessible and important technology is to them. Be sure to focus on teaching them good driving habits before they get behind the wheel, including switching that phone on to do not disturb!

By resisting the temptation of distractions and focusing on the road ahead, you’re able to react to the unexpected and hopefully avoid a life-threatening accident all together.

Amy Ingram
Social Media & Communications Coordinator
Amy joined Rockford Mutual in January of 2017 with an Associates Degree in Marketing. Amy has a great understanding of insurance in general as she is currently working towards an Associate in General Insurance designation.