Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving.1 It is something that is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during daylight hours.2 You may be surprised to learn that cell phones and texting are just part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. While stowing your phone while you drive is an important safety step, other behaviors behind the wheel, from drinking coffee to using a navigation system, may also be putting you at risk.
“The fact is, everything that occupies your mind or your vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel,” explains Chris Hayes, Safety Professional from Travelers. “While many distracted driving studies focus on cell phones, any type of multi-tasking activity and driving simply do not mix.”
A list of driving distractions may include:
- Dialing or using a smartphone;
- Eating or drinking;
- Talking to passengers;
- Programming a GPS or navigation system;
- Adjusting a radio or MP3 player.
It may not be surprising to learn that your brain is only capable of processing a certain amount of information at any given time.
When we attempt to perform multiple tasks at the same time, like driving while talking on the phone or eating, we can encounter performance problems. Multiple tasks tend to compete for our brain’s attention. Read more