April is distracted driving awareness month. Distracted driving is an enormous killer on the roads today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) more than 3,000 people died in accidents related to distracted driving. No driver can be completely safe unless the task of driving has the drivers undivided attention. Any Activity not related to driving is a potential distraction that can increase the risk of an autmobile accident. There are three main types of distracted driving; manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. This article is going to be about examples of cognitive distractions.
What are Cognitive Distractions?
Cognitive Distractions are when a driver allows their mind to not be focused on the act of driving. Talking to another passenger, being preoccupied with personal matter, thinking about the workday ahead, or even daydreaming about last Summers Vacation are all examples of cognitive distractions. Unfortunately, most drivers are not aware of the risks associated with cognitive distractions. Drivers that are experiencing cognitive distractions have slower reaction times and are more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers who remove those distractions.
Four Examples of Cognitive Distractions
Talking to another Passenger
Talking to another passenger is the most basic example of a cognitive distraction. Depending upon how in-depth the conversation is, it can take both your mental attention and possibly your eyes away from the road while behind the wheel.
Road rage is one of the cognitive distractions that is far too common on the roads today. Road rage has been on the rise for the better part of the last decade. This cognitive distraction is more common among commuters compared to non-commuters. Anger when behind the wheel significantly increases the frequency and severity of crashes.
Many people spend a lot of time behind the wheel commuting to work. Early in the morning, it is common for many people to think about the weekend or the previous night. It is also common for them to mentally prepare for their day at work. The same can be said for the commute home at the end of the day. People commonly use the commute home to replay the previous day, plan for the next work day, and prepare for their time at home with their family. No matter what is coming in to their mind it can be dangerous because it
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs and alcohol is not only against the law in every state, it is extremely dangerous. no matter how much someone has had to drink, driving under the influence of alcohol impacts your driving ability.