Even those who are vehemently against distracted driving might find themselves partaking in unsafe habits while behind the wheel. Some activities are so common that many drivers ignore the danger and continue to perform them while operating their car, truck or motorcycle. Here are four types of activities that could put you and every vehicle around you in danger.
- Daydreaming: One of the main categories of driving hazards is “cognitive distractions.” These are instances in which a driver’s attention is pulled away from the road. Anecdotally, drivers consider this “autopilot” without sensing the danger inherent in not paying close attention to the road and their surroundings.
- Eating and drinking: Dining and driving is so common that drivers never consider it a distraction. A bottle of water in the cupholder or a bag of chips resting on the center console are almost universal. Individuals eat breakfast on the drive to school or dinner on the way home from work, but these activities pull the eyes off the road and the hands off the steering wheel.
- Smoking: Like dining and driving, the driver’s eyes and hands are likely engaged in this commonplace activity.
- Dashboard adjustments: Whether manipulating the navigation system, environmental controls or the sound system, these activities have become second nature to drivers over the past decade. Unfortunately, as common as these activities are, they still represent manual, cognitive and visual distractions.
While it is easy to understand the danger of sending a text or reading an email while behind the wheel, it might be harder to recognize that common activities are just as dangerous. Something as simple as taking a sip of water can take a driver’s focus off the road for long enough to hit a pedestrian or crash into stopped traffic. If you were injured by a distracted driver in a motor vehicle collision, it is wise to seek the guidance of a skilled legal professional.