When people sit behind the driver’s seat and prepare to operate their vehicle in North Carolina, they undertake the responsibility of being attentive, responsible and respectful so that they can protect themselves, their passengers and other motorists on the road. Unfortunately, there are plenty of distractions to withdraw from a person’s ability to be vigilant. If not managed appropriately, these distractions can be incredibly dangerous and life-altering. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anything considered to be a distraction for people while they are driving can usually be lumped into one of three categories. These include the following:

  • Cognitive: This includes when people are experiencing emotional turmoil and due to mental instability or strong emotion, are unable to place adequate focus on driving. 
  • Visual: This includes anything that takes people’s eyes off of the road including texting, manipulating a GPS device, reaching for an item on the floor or tending to children in the backseat. 
  • Manual: This includes any type of distraction that requires people to take their hands off of the steering wheel including eating, blowing their nose, changing a CD or using a cellphone.  

Preventing distracted driving is something that requires the conscious efforts of everyone, even passengers in a vehicle. Loud discussions, distracting behavior or incessant requests from the driver can contribute to his or her distraction. A valuable suggestion from AAA is that people take a minute to make necessary adjustments before leaving on their drive. For example, they should set the air conditioning or heater to the setting they like, find the radio station they want to listen to, program their GPS and make sure their passengers are all settled in and buckled up. This way, they do not have to worry about those types of distractions while they are driving and their focus can remain unbroken.