We all know that texting while driving is a major risk factor for accidents. It is by no means the only negligent driving behavior, however. Any form of distracted driving can result in a collision. In fact, distracted or drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving—leading to serious injuries that could put you out of work or involve extended recovery time.
Common Distracted Driving Behaviors
Anything that removes your focus from the road where it belongs can be considered distracted driving. Besides responding to text messages without pulling over, these are some of the frequent kinds of distracted driving:
- Applying makeup or other kinds of personal grooming
- Adjusting nobs for air conditioning, heating, or seat placement
- Daydreaming rather than focusing on the road
- Eating fast food from the drive-through
- Inputting GPS coordinates without stopping the vehicle first
- Interacting with passengers or children in the back seat
- Removing a CD, changing a radio station, or selecting a different streaming playlist
- Singing along to the music
- Smoking or vaping
- Talking on the phone
Distracted driving typically involves a visual, cognitive, or physical component. Texting while driving impacts all three at once by taking your eyes off the road, putting your thoughts towards what you are reading or writing, and physically removing your hand from the wheel. Other behaviors on this list may only include one or two components, but can still be dangerous. For instance, talking with a hands-free device keeps your hands physically on the wheel, but still includes a cognitive distraction.