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Common Driver Distractions and How to Best Avoid Them

Whether you're driving or a passenger, it's always important to stay focused on the road ahead. If something might distract you, it's best to avoid it.
Date Posted: June 6, 2021

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity taking a driver’s attention away from the road. 

There are three main types of distraction: 

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road 
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel 
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off what you are doing 

Source: Transportation Safety, (Center for Disease Control). (2021)  


Common Driver Distractions 

Any form of distracted driving is dangerous. In 2019, NHTSA reported that 3,142 people were killed in accidents involving at least one driver who was distracted. ¹

Activities that can take a driver's full attention away from the road include:   

  • Using a cell phone while driving (texting, talking, video chat, email, social media, etc.)  
  • Eating and drinking  
  • Configuring a navigation (GPS) or entertainment system  
  • Applying makeup or grooming  
  • Reading or using a map  
  • Holding distracting conversations with your passengers 

¹Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA. (2019) 


Use Cell Phones Safely  

Cell phones are one of the best safety tools drivers can have on the road to report emergencies. Unfortunately, when cell phones are misused while driving, they can become dangerous distractions.  

If it's necessary to use your phone while driving, here's how you can keep from becoming distracted:  

  • Avoid returning calls or messages in heavy traffic or dangerous weather      
  • Keep your device within easy reach or use a hands-free option (like Bluetooth®) 
  • Learn features on your device like speed dial or voice assistant before hitting the road     
  • If you must make an important call/message, find a safe area to park your vehicle before responding

When it comes to distracted driving, it’s important to remember safety comes first. Every time you drive, make sure to keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind focused on what’s ahead. If something might distract you from doing so, it’s best to avoid it.   

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