When some people think about distracted driving, they might imagine someone who is not looking at the road or who takes their hands off the wheel. While these are both types of distractions, it is possible to also be distracted even when you are not doing either of these things. Cognitive distraction, which simply means that you are not paying attention to your driving, is a common and serious issue for drivers in Georgia and throughout the country.
Examples of cognitive distraction
For example, you might assume that if you use your cellphone hands free, you are not being distracted. However, this focus on talking to someone who is not in the car with you can create a cognitive distraction that takes your attention away from the road. Other common sources of common distraction include listening to the kids in the back seat, listening to music or podcasts, or just daydreaming.
Phones and cognitive distraction
Cognitive distraction can also be an element of distractions that are primarily visual or physical in nature. For example, quickly glancing at your phone to see if a message has popped up is not just distracting because you have taken your eyes off the road. It’s also distracting because you have let your mental focus lapse, and doing this even for a moment can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a driver using a cell phone is a factor in 25% of all accidents. Teenagers are at particular risk when it comes to distracted driving and mobile phones.
It is best to develop a habit of pulling over if there is something important that you need to do that will take your attention away from driving. This can help keep you and your passengers safer as well as others who are sharing the road with you.