Among the numerous dangers drivers face on the road, distractions serve as one of the most prevalent issues and also the hardest to manage and fight against.
Just how do distractions impact drivers, though? Can distractions contribute to the number of crashes the road sees in general?
Breaking down types of distraction
The NHTSA discusses the impact of distraction on crash statistics. First, distractions come in many different forms, and this is part of what makes them impact crash statistics so wildly. For example, both drowsy driving and texting while driving result in many high impact, high injury and high fatality crashes every year. Both fit under the umbrella of distracted driving.
Distraction generally breaks down into three separate categories. Physical distractions involve things that take a driver’s hands from the wheel. Visual distractions take their eyes from the road. Finally, mental distractions take their mind away from the task at hand, i.e. driving. This is the category that creates the most issues, as it can involve everything from focusing on directions to thinking about what to make for dinner.
How distraction impacts drivers
All forms of distraction immensely impact a driver’s ability to focus on the road and react to dangers appropriately. For example, many rear-end accidents happen because the driver took their attention away from the road for just a few seconds and did not notice that the car ahead of them suddenly came to a stop.
Due to the immense harm that these distractions can cause, it is important for drivers everywhere to increase their awareness of them. This can help cut back on incidents across the board.