As a commuter, you probably spend more time on the road than many other drivers in Pennsylvania. Because of the amount of time you spend on the road, it is understandable that you might get distracted from time to time. However, every day in the United States about nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted drivers. To help prevent being involved in a distracted driving accident, it may be beneficial to brush up on the three types of distracted driving and consider ways to avoid these habits.

Three types of distractions to avoid

Driving distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive. This means that a distraction can be anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off driving.

Texting while driving can be especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sending or reading a text typically requires you to take your eyes off the road for five seconds. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour, you can travel the length of a football field in that time. In addition to being dangerous, texting while driving is illegal in Pennsylvania.

However, texting and driving is not the only distraction drivers in Pennsylvania face. Some visual distractions can include looking at a crash scene as you pass by, putting on makeup or adjusting temperature controls. Manual distractions can include eating, drinking, smoking or picking up items from the floor. Cognitive distractions can include road rage, daydreaming or carrying on a conversation.

Ways to avoid habits of distraction

It may be beneficial to look at your habits and try to identify ways you might avoid your personal temptations to multitask when driving. Some changes you might consider include:

  • Waking up earlier, so you can finish personal grooming and eating breakfast before you begin your commute
  • Setting temperature controls before you start driving
  • Presetting your favorite radio stations
  • Putting your phone on silent before you start driving, so you are not tempted to pick it up
  • Making a personal policy to avoid picking up dropped items, engaging in road rage or risking other distractions you may be prone to

Distracted driving is a dangerous habit for you and everyone else on the road. To prevent what accidents you can, be sure you understand and avoid all three types of driving distractions.