The Roundup -

By Don Smies 

Distracted Driving


Basically, "distracted driving" is a catch-all phrase for anything that diverts a driver's attention from safely operating the motor vehicle. Such distractions can include anything from eating and drinking to talking to other passengers.

There are three most common types of distractions:

• Manual, anything that requires you to take your hands off the wheel, such as: Eating or drinking. Smoking. Adjusting seat belts or vehicle controls. Texting and talking on your phone.

• Visual, anything that requires you to remove your eyes from the road, to include: Changing the radio station. Adjusting the navigation system. Searching for items within the vehicle. Looking at other passengers. Texting and talking on your phone.

• Cognitive, anything that takes your focus away from driving- this could be: Talking to passengers. Singing along with the radio. Driving with high emotion (sad, angry, etc.) Texting and talking on your phone.

Notice anything about each list? That's right- your cell phone falls right into all three categories of driving distractions. In fact, texting and driving along with talking on the phone has become the deadliest factor in distracted driving crashes.

Driving distractions such as these can reduce or eliminate your reaction time to a problem on the road causing you to lose control of the vehicle. Now is the time to show your commitment to safe driving. Take our Pledge to End Distracted Driving now, and challenge your friends to do the same. It's everyone's responsibility to look out for one another on the roads- so here's our chance to do it together.


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