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Common distractions while driving

Kids look to parents to care for them and teach them fundamental principles. When an adult picks up the phone while driving, what is that showing children?

While 21 states across the country have banned using cellphones while driving, it is still a common practice. Checking texts, emails and missed calls can avert the eyes just long enough to allow an obstacle to slip in the path of the moving vehicle. However, phones are not the only thing that can draw attention away while driving.

Visual distraction

The most glaringly obvious way a driver’s attention diverts from the road ahead is by looking away from it. Cellphones may be the most recognized form of visual distraction, but not the only. Other things like navigation and in-car activities can draw the gaze away from the windshield.

Audible distraction

People chattering can create a lot of noise and detract the brain from any task. Driving is no exception. Teens who have passengers in the car often find themselves deep in conversation and may not give driving the attention it requires.

Cognitive distraction

There are times when drivers go on autopilot while driving and do not remember much of the journey. Getting rid of environmental distractions may prove easier than dismissing the ones facilitated by the brain. When the mind becomes immersed in thought, it can lead to a distraction that causes a person to miss an exit or fail to notice a red light ahead.

Eliminating distractions while driving is crucial to keeping passengers and other cars safe. Keeping the eyes and mind engaged on the road ahead may mean making sweeping changes, but it may also reshape the habits of anybody watching, including children.