Driving is a task that can’t be done by a person who’s doing other things. Attempting to multitask while driving can lead to the driver causing a crash because they’re too distracted to safely operate the vehicle. It’s imperative that anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle understands why distractions are so dangerous.
The human mind can only handle one active task at a time. Even if you think you’re multitasking, your mind is only truly focused on one of the things you’re doing. When you’re driving, you need to keep your mind on that. But, your mind isn’t the only thing that can be distracted. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that there are three types of distractions that drivers face. These include:
- Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind off driving
- Manual distractions require you to take your hands off the steering wheel
- Visual distractions make you take your eyes off the road
An activity can involve more than one of these distractions. For example, if you’re sending a text, you have to hold the phone (manual distraction), read the text you’re responding to or look at the keyboard (visual distraction), and think about what you’re going to say (cognitive distraction).
While you might avoid distractions as you drive, other drivers may not. A vehicle that’s going 55 miles per hour can go the length of a football field in only five seconds. The average text message claims a driver’s attention for five seconds. This distraction provides ample opportunities for a crash in only five seconds. If you’re the victim of a distracted driving crash, look into options to seek compensation for the financial impacts.