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When people think of car accidents, they often think they occur from bad weather, icy roads, or mechanical problems with the car, but many accidents are caused by simply not paying attention. Being on your phone, listening to the radio, talking with passengers, anything that distracts your attention from the road can quickly cause an accident.
Types of Distractions
Although cell phones are often cited as a cause of distracted driving, there are many things we all do which take our attention away from the road. Fixing your hair, putting on lipstick, changing the CD in the player - it may just be a quick glance away, but in that split second, a world can change. Distractions break down into three categories, Visual, Manual, and Cognitive.
There are many things which can serve to be a distraction. Each one may seem simple and harmless, but the second your eyes leave the road, your attention goes with it. Couple this with the speed of your car and the actions of the surrounding drivers, and the potential for disaster arises.
Many people believe if they are stopped at a red light, or going really slow in rush hour traffic, then it is OK to change the CD, check a text, or quickly dial a number. While this may feel true because you are going slow, or even stopped, it still takes your attention off the road. And even if you believe you are aware of what you are doing, you lose touch with what the other drivers on the road are doing, and your attention is distracted.