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The main types of distracted driving

Getting distracted while driving can cause all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, from fender benders to multi-car pileups. It’s important to understand what counts as distracted driving, so you can avoid doing it yourself and stay safe on the Oklahoma roads. There are three main types of distraction.


Taking your eyes off the road, even for a second, can be incredibly dangerous. If you’re looking at something else – a GPS, a text message, or even just a particularly interesting billboard – you’re not paying attention to the road ahead.

That doesn’t mean hands-free devices are safe, either. Even if you’re not physically holding your phone, talking on the phone or to a passenger can be distracting. If you’re looking at your phone screen or turned toward the person you’re talking to, you’re not focused on driving. In most cases, people who are visually distracted don’t see the hazard until it’s too late, potentially leading to a serious motor vehicle accident.


Taking your hands off the wheel, even for a second, can be dangerous. One of the most common manual distractions is fumbling with a GPS system or phone. But there are other things that can take your hands off the wheel, like eating, drinking, adjusting the car’s controls or reaching for something in the backseat.


Your mind can wander even when you’re looking at the road and keeping your hands on the wheel. If you’re thinking about something else – a problem at work, an argument with a friend, or daydreaming about your weekend plans – you’re not focused on driving. In fact, cognitive distraction can be just as dangerous as a visual or manual distraction because your mind is not on the task of driving.

To avoid distracted driving, understand the types of distractions and how to avoid them. Put away any devices that might tempt you to look at them while you’re driving, and if you’re feeling tired or drowsy, pull over and rest. It’s not worth risking an accident.