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Distracted driving is any kind of act that takes your attention away from the road. Distractions put everyone in danger – you, your passengers and other drivers. The most common distractions behind the wheel include:
Texting and Driving
has recently been a major focus for law enforcement, and rightfully so. Texting ranks high on the list of the most dangerous activities to do while driving, and it's not hard to understand why. Texting requires vision and attention – two things that should be targeted toward the road ahead.
Cell Phone and Smart Phones
Modern day cell phones are amazing devices, packing the power of a computer into your pocket; however, this is also what makes them dangerous while driving. Smart phones are another recent focal point for law enforcement. Drivers playing with their cell phones aren't focusing on the road, because they're focusing on their phone. Anything that takes a driver's vision off the road is dangerous.
Eating While Driving
This is something most people have done behind the wheel at least once. Many times people just don't have the time to sit down and enjoy a meal, so they take a hamburger to go. While it may seem harmless, eating behind the wheel distracts you just like another other activity does. It takes your focus off the wheel and onto the food in front of them.
Talking to Passengers
Some experts believe that talking to people inside your car is just as bad as talking to people outside your car with a cell phone. While that may or may not be true, having a conversation while driving can impact your driving ability and attention. The goal is to always keep your eyes on the road and your attention there as well. Emotionally charged conversations can be especially dangerous.
Grooming and Driving
Applying makeup, hair brushing and other forms of personal grooming have become commonplace behind the wheel. It should be obvious that this is not an acceptable behavior while driving. This is another example of people not having the time to sit down and groom themselves, but that is no excuse for putting other people in danger. Either find time or go to work unkempt.
Reading While Driving
Whether books, maps, or something on that addictive smart phone, reading is one of the worst things to do while driving. Reading requires vision and attention, something that should not be shared with driving. No driver should ever be reading behind the wheel.
Using a GPS
It might be better than using a map, but sometimes those GPS devices are more hindrance then help. While directions are given aloud, changing your destination usually requires you to hassle with the device, taking your attention away from the wheel. Program your GPS before you get behind the wheel, or find one that is entirely hands-free.
Adjusting the Radio/iPod
Changing songs, skipping forward, and changing stations all require your attention, and there are plenty of ways to bypass needing to change music. Set a music playlist before you start driving or pick a station in advance.
Watching a Video
Watching a video requires you to be watching it instead of the road. Even if you just want to listen to it don't, it's a distraction either way.