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What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any kind of activity you engage in while driving that distracts you from your primary task - you know, the driving.
Distracted driving of any kind increases your risk of an accident because you’re pulling your attention away from the road, where situations can change in a flash and a fast reaction time is essential.
Here’s a sobering statistic. If you pull your eyes away from the road for 5 seconds while driving at 55 miles per hour, it’s the same as driving the full length of a football field with your eyes closed.
What Are the Four Types of Distracted Driving?
There are four main types of distracted driving, some of which may be more obvious to you than others:
Visual - When you look at something other than the road, such as a cell phone or road map
Manual - Any time you manipulate something behind the wheel, whether it’s a makeup brush or a pen to write down notes
Auditory - Hearing something unrelated to driving, whether it’s music or a conversation with a fellow passenger
Cognitive - Thinking about something besides driving, particularly if you find your mind heavily preoccupied
Distractions can be inside or outside the vehicle. From utilizing the GPS to watching the scenery through the window. The most obvious causes of distracted driving are the ones we bring into our vehicles - electronic devices, food, drinks or simply a hair brush.
What Can You Do?
According to the Insurance Council of Texas, 1 in 4 crashes involve distracted driving, claiming thousands of lives each year. That’s scary, but the good news is this is something you have total control over as a driver.
Whenever possible, avoid eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, and of course, talking on your cell phone as you’re going down the road. Oh, and slow down - speeding is still one of the main causes of accidents. Familiarize yourself with state laws on distracted driving.
Cell phones are some of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents, which is why New York was the first state to ban the use of hand-held phones while driving. Even still, it’s unclear whether utilizing hands-free devices such as Bluetooth is helpful in reducing distracted driving - so when in doubt, save the conversation for later.
Insurance and Distracted Driving
A distracted driving violation on your record can make your insurance premiums more expensive - yet another reason why it’s so important to stay focused while you’re driving.
That said, if you do get a ticket for distracted driving, don’t beat yourself up. Contact your insurance agent to find out how it will affect your policy and to see if there are steps you can take to lower your rates and better educate yourself on the dangers of distracted driving.
Stay focused on what really matters while driving - and make sure you’re covered for anything that comes your way. Here at Northern Insuring Agency, Inc. we can help to make sure you have the proper coverages in place in the event of an accident.
We simplify the complicated…for insurance. Contact Northern Insuring today for a quote!