Despite countless campaigns and advertisements, distracted driving seems to remain a prevalent cause of accidents.
Often, a driver sees no option but to add a task while driving; in some cases, that is true. There are many distractions both in and out of the car that could need a driver’s attention.
Florida is taking steps to reduce the number of distracted drivers by educating residents on what distracted driving is in attempts to make the roads safer. Here’s what you should know about the new campaign.
Avoiding the three types of distractions
Many of the distracted driving messages focus on cell phones. They do not speak to other types of distractions, including:
- Visual. Distractions that take your eyes off the road ahead, like a stalled vehicle on the side of the road.
- Manual. Distractions that take one or both of your hands off the steering wheel, like a drink or snack.
- Cognitive. Distractions that take your mind off the task of driving, like children or other passengers asking questions.
Campaigns often focus on cell phone usage because it distracts drivers in all three ways. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) asks drivers to set aside all three types of distractions so they can focus on safe driving.
Watch for distracted drivers
In addition to avoiding distractions so you are a safer driver, you should always watch out for other distracted motorists. Rather than trying to look for them actively, notice behaviors that suggest a driver is distracted, such as:
- Stopping suddenly or weaving
- Driving very slowly
- Neglecting to use turn signals
If you notice a distracted driver try to maintain your distance. You may not be able to get the driver to focus on the road, but you can give yourself the time and space necessary to react appropriately if the distracted driver makes dangerous mistakes.