Distractions serve as one of the biggest dangers that drivers face on a daily basis. It affects drivers no matter their age, gender, experience levels or more.
What about distractions pose such a big risk, though? How do distractions factor into crashes?
Types of distraction
The NHTSA looks into crashes caused by driver distraction. First, one must understand the different forms that distractions can take. They can come in visual, physical or mental forms.
Visually, a distraction serves as anything that takes a driver’s eyes away from the road. Physically, a distraction can remove their hands from the wheel. Mental distractions serve as the broadest category, as it involves anything that prevents a driver from focusing on the road.
These distractions can easily impact a driver’s chance of getting into a crash because they cannot react to surrounding dangers if they are not paying attention to said dangers in the first place. A common example involves rear-end collisions. A driver may temporarily glance at their phone or reach down to pick up a fallen item, not realizing that the car in front of them came to an abrupt stop.
How distractions create danger
It can occur in other situations, too. For example, if a driver gets distracted thinking about what they intend to do when they get home, they might space out to the point that they do not realize they are approaching a red light, causing them to run through it and potentially hit or get hit by another vehicle.
Distractions are not something a driver can completely rid themselves of. However, it is possible to learn how to hone one’s focus and limit distractions as much as possible.