Many of us are aware of the dangers of distracted driving – we’ve heard the statistics, why it’s unsafe and that it should be avoided. For new drivers specifically, the risks associated with distracted driving can sometimes be brushed off or underestimated.
Safe driving requires full attention on the road and any activity not related to driving is a distraction that increases the risk of crashing. Knowing the risks of distracted driving and tips to avoid it is an important lesson, especially for teen drivers.
Safe driving requires visual, manual and cognitive attention being focused on the road ahead. Distracted driving occurs when one of these functions is preoccupied by something other than driving.
Visual – Visual distractions mean engaging in anything that takes your eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include:
Manual – Manual distractions refer to the driver taking their hands off the steering wheel, decreasing their control over the vehicle. Manual distractions can include:
Cognitive – Cognitive distractions occur when the driver’s mind is not focused on the road. These types of distractions may be less apparent and easier to fall victim to – drivers often don’t realize they aren’t paying attention until it’s too late. Some common types of cognitive distractions are:
One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is cell phone use, as it involves visual, manual and cognitive distractions. While we usually think of cell phone use being specific to texting, this may also include posting to social media, talking on the phone or using a navigation system.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, engaging in these activities takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds – when traveling at 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
The importance of staying safe on the road
It’s important to take extra precautions to limit distracted driving among teens; as less experienced drivers, they may be more susceptible to distractions on the road. Encouraging them to form safe driving habits early on and educating them on the risks of distracted driving can help them and others arrive to their destination safely. No text or phone call is more important than doing your part to reduce distracted driving accidents.
Some of the most important ways to limit distracted driving among young drivers is to educate them on the risks, reduce opportunities for distractions and encourage them to reduce their speed.
Consider signing up for OnTrack, an Integrity program that monitors driving behavior such as mileage, time of day, smoothness and road type to give you a discount on your insurance premium. This can bring awareness to your teen’s driving habits and help identify where improvements can be made. Plus, Integrity’s OnTrack program does not raise insurance rates based on a poor score.
You should also consider adding roadside assistance to your policy in case your teen needs help after an accident or auto breakdown.
Contact your local independent agent today to learn more about how Integrity auto insurance can help protect you and your teen driver.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the insurance policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies.