Distracted driving has become a major and deadly problem in recent years. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that distracted driving caused more than 2,800 deaths and about 400,000 injuries in 2019 alone.
To keep motorists and others safe, Virginia law prohibits drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. Still, there are many types of distracted driving that may put others at risk. Here are four of them.
1. Manual distractions
For drivers to operate vehicles safely, they typically need their hands and their feet. Manual distractions are non-driving activities that take a person’s hands off the wheel or feet off the pedals. Reaching for a smartphone, changing the radio station or sitting with crossed legs are all manual distractions.
2. Visual distractions
Whether it is beautiful scenery or an accident on the other side of the highway, there is plenty to see from inside a vehicle. Because drivers who look away from the road may pose a risk to others, diligent motorists understand the importance of keeping a close eye on their surroundings.
3. Mental distractions
From time to time, everyone’s mind wanders. Still, mental focus is a critical element of safe and responsible driving. A driver who thinks too much about an upcoming meeting, a story on the news or anything else may cause an accident that results in serious injury or death.
4. Auditory distractions
While there is usually nothing inherently wrong with listening to music or having a conversation in the car, drivers should avoid auditory distractions. Certain sounds, such as up-tempo music, may divert a driver’s attention away from the driving task.