Distracted driving has become a major public safety issue, nearly as serious as drunk driving has long been considered. Much like with drunk driving, the average person understands that distracted driving is dangerous and irresponsible. Georgia has also taken steps to criminalize distracted driving to promote public safety.
Still, countless drivers every day allow distractions to affect how they handle their vehicles. Although you may think that your family is not at risk for distracted driving collisions, possibly because of your personal safety habits, your risk may be higher than you realize, especially if you believe one of the myths about distracted driving below.
Built-in screens aren’t a reason for concern
A surprising number of drivers wrongfully assume that built-in screens in their vehicles, for vehicle display and entertainment purposes, are safe to use. They assume that manufacturers would not include them if they contributed in any way to crash risk.
In reality, the screen that shows your gas mileage per gallon and distance traveled this trip or GPS navigation instructions is as much of a visual and mental distraction as your phone would be. Built-in screens are responsible for causing many vehicle crashes, just like handheld devices.
Only screen-based distractions are a risk
A number of people think that only distraction caused by a device is dangerous. However, having a cup of coffee at the wheel, adjusting your clothing or hair and even singing along to the radio can be distracting too. When your focus is not on operating the vehicle safely, you are at risk of distraction affecting your safety.
You can safely multitask at the wheel
It is shocking how many people know that distracted driving is dangerous while still believing that they are somehow the exception to this rule.
Cognitive research makes it clear that multitasking in the truest sense is a myth. Your brain cannot fully focus on two ideas or tasks simultaneously. One will always take priority over the other, and driving should never have to compete with a podcast or a conversation with your kids for your cognitive focus.
Recognizing the many different forms of distracted driving can help you avoid causing a crash through a preventable driving mistake.