5 Types of Manual Distracted Driving

Manually Distracted Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and in honor of this month My Insurance Question is dedicating a majority of our attention towards helping individuals and small businesses end distracted driving. The first step towards ending distracted driving is knowing exactly what distracted driving is. Far too many people think distracted driving begins and ends with the cellphone. While a majority of distractions to drivers do involve a mobile device, there are far more ways people can be distracted while behind the wheel.  The three main types of distractions include manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. Here are examples of 5 types of manual distractions.

Manual Distracted Driving is just as dangerous as sending a text.

What is a manual distraction?

According to the website DMV.org a manual distraction is anything that causes you to take one or both hands off of the wheel. Now you will find that most distractions involve more than one type of distraction. For instance, rolling down the window may include all three types of distractions: Cognitive because you are thinking about the window instead of the road, manual because you are taking your hand off the wheel to push a button to roll down the window, and visual if you look away from the road to observe the window.

Using your phone is not the only way to be distracted while driving. Here are five examples of manual distractions.

Here are 5 examples of manual distractions while behind the wheel. 

Eating and drinking

Today we live in an on-the-go society. Taking a look at the drive-thru line of your nearest McDonalds is all the evidence you need to know there are a lot of people out on the roads eating and drinking while behind the wheel. Eating and drinking are a manual distraction because you have to physically use your hands to do something other than have be placed on the wheel at ten and two.

Smoking

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 15.5 percent of Americans 18 or older still smoke. The amount of Americans who smoke has been on a constant decline for many years. This amount of drivers still means one and a half of every ten drivers smoke. Many of them smoke when behind the wheel. The reason this is a manual distraction is because they physically have to hold the cigarette for an extended period of time. This creates an extended period of time when these drivers face a manual distraction.

Turning knobs in your car

There are more knobs and buttons in our cars now than ever before. Many new cars come with an electronic display for climate control, radio features, and even GPS capability. these are all potential manual distractions because of the fact you have to take your hand off the steering wheel in order to use any of the controls.

Tending to a child

Children are the most valued possession in any parents life. In most instances, taking care of the needs of a child come before anything a parent needs to do for themselves. When you are behind the wheel this should not be the case. No matter how bad of a tantrum your child is throwing, what they are facing is never as important as keeping them from being involved in a car accident.

Searching through your purse or wallet

Most adults carry a purse or wallet with them at all times. They include personal items like id cards, credit and debit cards as well as gum, mints, makeup and anything else we just cannot do without. These are all potential manual distractions because to use any of these items, the driver must take their hand off the wheel in order to get in to the purse or wallet. These items should be kept out of reach of the driver at all times while behind the wheel.

 

3 Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects everyone in America. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways each of the previous two years.  Distracted driving is a major contributor.

When thinking or discussing distracted driving, far too many people think distracted driving starts and ends with the cell phone, but there are many other ways a driver can be distracted when behind the wheel. The three main ways someone can be distracted when behind the wheel deal with manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. Here is an in-depth description of each type of distraction with examples of each.

Manually Distracted Driving

Manually Distracted DrivingThe first and foremost type of distraction any driver faces when behind the wheel is anything that causes a driver to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel. This can be from eating or drinking while in the car, adjusting a GPS unit, getting something out of a purse or wallet, or sending a full text message. No matter how small the distraction may seem, it can lead to serious consequences when a distracted driver becomes the victim of a car crash.

Visual Distracted Driving

Visually Distracted DrivingThere are a number of types of visual distractions a driver can face while operating a motor vehicle. Some visual distractions cause the drivers visual field to be blocked. This can occur because of heavy rain and inadequate windshield wipers. It can also occur when a driver is moving and the back windshield is blocked by the goods being moved. A visual distraction can occur when a driver decides not to look in a certain area before making a move behind the wheel. This can be as simple as not looking both ways at a stop sign. It can be not turning your head to observe the lane you are about to turn in to, instead just relying on the mirrors. Additional visual distractions can come when the driver actually looks at something not related to the act of driving. This can be a clever billboard on the side of the highway or a funny video your friend in the passenger seat wants you to view. No matter what type of visual distraction someone faces when behind the wheel, it is extremely important for the driver to do everything possible to keep their attention on the act of driving.

Cognitively Distracted Driving

The final type of distracted driving deals with the drivers cognitive ability to pay attention to the task of driving.  There are many things that can contribute to this type of a distraction. One of the most common is talking on the phone with a hands-free device like a bluetooth. This type of distraction can also come in the form of an in-depth conversation with a significant other or a person getting excited when their new favorite song comes on the radio. The main danger with cognitive distractions is that in our society today we are constantly inundated with distractions. Because of these distractions we get comfortable doing two things at once, but that is a false sense of security when you get behind the wheel of a car. When you are behind the wheel of a car, the stakes are far to high to risk driving while distracted.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Here are 10 tips from experts about how to combat distracted driving.

Hang up and drive

According to AARP, the best way to combat distracted driving is to simply put down the phone and drive. Leave all phone calls for when you are at a place where you can safely park your car.

Wear your Seatbelt:

The first thing anyone should do when they sit down in to a car is to put on your seatbelt. Even if you do every thing in your power to keep yourself from getting distracted, you can not prevent other people from driving distracted and harming you.

Know your technology:

This multitasking technology is about convenience, not safety. According to the National Safety Council, cell phones are not the only distraction drivers are facing on the roads today.

Designated Texter:

Select a friend to be your designated texter while you’re behind the wheel. According to the organization Digital Responsibility, Designated Drivers have helped decrease the amount of drinking and driving cases. The same concept can help with distracted driving.

There are three types of distractions:

According to the website DMV.org there are three types of distraction while driving: Manual, Visual, and Cognitive.

Skip the Drive-through:

According to an article in Consumer Reports it is important to skip the drive through. Eating while driving can be just as distracting as texting and driving.

Attend to the kids before getting behind the wheel:

Children can distract you from the road. Whenever your children are having a tantrum on the road it is important to first pull to the side of the road before dealing with any childs needs.

Put up makeup on at home:

Applying makeup while behind the wheel is as distracting as anything someone can do while driving. Taking the proper amount of time to apply makeup before getting behind the wheel is essential to preventing distracted driving.

Talk to your teens about distractions:

Teens today have grown up with cell phone usage as a part of their existence. Talking to them about the need to put down the phone while driving is important.

Just talking can be a distraction:

It is normal to talk with a friend or family member when behind the wheel, but limiting the amount of attention you put on the conversation is important to limit distracted driving.