Distracted driving is one of the most prevalent problems on American roadways. In 2015, 3,477 Americans lost their lives due to distracted driving, which was a sharp increase from the previous year. An additional 391,000 Americans suffered injuries that same year due to driver distraction behind the wheel.

There are numerous ways people become distracted when they should be focused on the road. By becoming more aware, drivers throughout Florida can help mitigate this crisis.

Manual distractions

Manual distractions involve anything that requires drivers to momentarily take their hands off the steering wheel. Anyone who eats or applies makeup while driving falls into this category. A manual distraction can even be as simple as adjusting the volume on the radio. Ideally, drivers should take care of their music and GPS before they get on the road, so they do not mess with it later.

Visual distractions

Visual distractions are activities that force motorists to take their eyes off the road. This includes one of the most prevalent causes of distracted driving: texting. There have been numerous campaigns across Florida warning motorists of the dangers of texting while driving. Even if they only glance at their phone for a second to read a text, they still put themselves and others in danger. Drivers need to keep their phone in a glove box, pocket or purse until they reach their destination.

Cognitive distractions

This involves anything that requires drivers to take their mind off of driving. Many people tend to daydream when they are behind the wheel, especially if they drive home from work for the thousandth time on the same roadway. Their full attention needs to be on what is ahead of them. This is why using Bluetooth devices and talking to someone via speakerphone is still dangerous. A person’s mind is on the conversation when it should be on the road conditions ahead.