When you get behind the wheel, you try to refrain from distractions that could make it difficult to drive safely. These could include texting, talking on your cellphone or trying to watch a video as you drive.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately eight people die in distracted driving collisions every day. Cellphone use likely contributes to these crashes, as well as activities that fall under the other forms of driver distraction.
When you take your hands off of the steering wheel as you drive, you become manually distracted. For instance, if you reach for something on your back seat as your car is in motion or hold your cellphone instead of the steering wheel, you increase your risk of an auto accident due to manual distraction.
Cognitive distraction occurs when you stop focusing on the road in front of you. Losing focus because of drowsiness or worrying about the day ahead instead of driving on your morning commute are both examples of cognitive distraction.
You experience visual distraction when you no longer look at the road as you drive. You can become visually distracted if you look down at your phone, glance at a map or look at a passenger in your car while your vehicle is in motion.
Although any form of distracted driving is dangerous, texting and driving is one of the most hazardous activities. This is because it combines cognitive, visual and manual distraction.