Cognitive Distractions: How to Steer Clear!
Did You Know? In the United States, over 350,000 people are injured each year, as a direct result of distracted driving.
Did You Also Know? In some states, a distracted driving citation can raise your insurance rate by over $600.
Wait – Did You Know This Too? Once a driver has been distracted, it takes less than three seconds for a motor vehicle accident to occur.
What are Cognitive Distractions?
A cognitive distraction is anything that forces a driver to remove their attention from the road ahead, and instead, place it upon another mentally demanding task.
Cognitive distractions are a bit sneakier than visual or manual distractions, as, on the surface, it can certainly appear as if you’ve taken all precautions and are driving safely – however, that isn’t the case.
If your mind is drifting, and you find yourself lost in thought while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you’ve now become cognitively distracted, and have put yourself, other passengers and the motorists on the road with you, at a much greater risk for an accident.
This is commonly the case with drowsy drivers, who are falling asleep slowly behind the wheel, or drivers who’ve just left work and are still stuck thinking about the events that transpired during their shift – it’s best to give yourself time before getting out on the open road so that you can settle your thoughts, allowing yourself to focus on getting home safely.
How Do Cognitive Distractions Impact My Driving?
It’s simple – cognitive distractions are anything that directly aids in the restriction of a driver’s ability to focus on the road. It’s unfortunate, but there’s a good chance that we’ve all been there before, driving in our cars, caught up in our thoughts, only to realize that we missed our turn or our exit, or totally don’t remember the last five or maybe even ten minutes – while common, these distractions can become fatal.
Cognitive distractions can also slow down the reaction time of drivers greatly, lowering them to seriously unsafe levels. Studies have found that drivers who are legally drunk far outperformed their cognitively distracted counterparts when both measured solely on reaction time.
Furthermore, drivers who are cognitively distracted, become virtually blind to their surroundings. Research has indicated, that more than half of the information in a cognitively distracted driver’s environment is rendered unnoticed once they’ve become immersed in their thoughts or a separate task.
The Washington Post published a study in 2015 which found that drivers who use hands-free electronic devices can remain mentally distracted for roughly 30 seconds after they’ve stopped using them. If that driver was traveling 30 miles per hour, they’d cover the entire length of a professional football field in less than a minute – it’s truly alarming information when you take a step back and think about it.
How Can I Make Sure I’m Not Distracted?
Here are some simple tips for any driver who’d like to make sure they’re never distracted when they’re behind the wheel of a motor vehicle!
- Focus On The Road Ahead, and Nothing Else!
- Turn Your Cell Phone Off, or Put it On ‘Do Not Disturb’ While Driving
- Eat or Drink Before You Leave Your House!
- Have One Passenger Be The ‘Designated Texter’ While You Focus on Driving
- Set Your GPS or Maps App to Your Destination Before Pulling Away!
It’s important to be safe on the road so that you can avoid accidents – sadly, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and if that’s the case, we’ll be here to help you!
Schedule a Free Consultation with Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban today!
If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident due to cognitive distractions anywhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia, the attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban may be able to help.
We thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Call us today at (855) 435-7247 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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