What Are The 4 Types Of Distraction While Driving?
Any kind of car accident involves distracted driving on some level. Full attention is necessary to drive safely, but if we’re being honest, every driver has driven distracted at some point in their lives. The key is to guard against it, and not let it become a habit. In this blog, we’ll identify the four types of driving distractions and how to avoid them.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is when any person operating a motor vehicle engages in any activity other than the primary task of driving. This can be something as minor as glancing at something on the side of the road, or as egregious as texting while driving. There are four types of distraction when driving. These include:
- Manual: When you manipulate anything other than the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: Your mind is on something other than your driving.
- Auditory: You are listening to something outside of driving.
- Visual: Looking away from the road.
Examples of Manual Distraction
Manual distraction occurs when you are manipulating something other than the steering wheel. So, for example, if you’re reaching for something you dropped on the floor–that’s manual distraction (along with visual and cognitive distraction). Incidents of driving distracted often include 2 or more categories. Other examples of manual distraction include:
- Eating while driving
- Smoking while driving
- Texting while driving
Examples of Cognitive Distraction
With the cognitive distraction, we’d say “their mind’s not on the road”. Someone who is daydreaming is cognitively distracted. Other ways you can be cognitively distracted include:
- Road rage
- Chatting with your passenger
- Texting/talking on cell phones while driving (even hands-free)
- Under the influence of drugs/alcohol
Examples of Auditory Distraction
Auditory distraction occurs when you’re hearing or listening to anything besides relevant road noises. These kinds of distractions include:
- Talking on cell phones/with a passenger
- Listening to an audiobook/navigation system/music
Examples of Visual Distraction
This occurs when you take your eyes off the road. Visual distractions are everywhere and are especially insidious on long drives. Some visual distractions:
- Motor vehicles on side of the road
- Animal in the road
- Mobile phone
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Did you notice anything about the category lists? Mobile phones are present in each one. Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous driver distractions. The Queensland Government states that using a mobile phone when driving increases the risk of crashing 4 TIMES and, can be as risky as driving drunk. It’s also against the law.
Driving distracted decreases reaction time and puts you at risk of an accident. The best practice is to keep your eyes on the road, your phone out of your hand, and limit conversation and noise. To learn more about how you can help keep the roads safe, contact LTrent Driving School, Australia’s #1 choice for driving lessons. We also offer Safer Drivers Course, get in touch with us for more information.