Texting behind the wheel is the most common example of distracted driving. It is the classic example for a good reason since it is the most common distraction that drivers engage in nowadays.
It is also risky because it combines all other kinds of distracted driving, which drivers should not overlook either.
New report: Many Georgia drivers still driving distracted
A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found some alarming results in Georgia drivers. According to the report:
- 52% of drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving;
- 40% of drivers report reading an email or text while driving; and
- 32% of drivers admit to sending a message while driving.
As mentioned above, using a cellphone like this behind the wheel is the most common example of distracted driving because it is also one of the most common dangers on the road. It requires drivers to take their eyes and their hands off of the wheel, which are both clear signs of distraction.
However, we should not overlook the issue of the cognitive distraction that using a cellphone creates either.
Beware of cognitive distractions
It is easy to overlook cognitive distractions, because they are ones that drivers – and police, for that matter – cannot see. Drivers may still believe their focus is on the road if their hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road. But if drivers are not thinking about driving, then they are distracted.
Even when laws ban handheld devices, drivers still engage in cognitive distractions, such as:
- Composing messages or talking on a cellphone, even hands-free;
- Holding conversations with passengers; or
- Thinking about a stressful day or daydreaming.
Anything that pulls a driver’s attention and mind off of the task at hand could seriously increase the risk of a car accident. Drivers must understand these risks and ensure they practice avoiding all types of distractions behind the wheel.