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October 27, 2021

Types of distracted driving

Learn about the dangers of distracted driving and how much money you could save by staying focused on the road. 

Distracted driving

Giving in to distractions while driving is a dangerous habit that claims an average of 3,000 lives each year. Cell phones are one of the most common distractions that cause drivers to take their eyes off of the road.

In fact, this has become such a major issue over the years that texting while driving is banned in 48 of our 50 states and handheld cell phone use is against the law in 24 of them. Driving on the phone and texting while driving is dangerous.

It’s best to make calls or send any messages once you’ve reached your destination. Or, if it’s an emergency, you can pull over somewhere safe. 

The lack of focus that so many drivers have is why we have a distracted driving month. Of course, drivers should be focused on the road every month of the year, however, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April is a time to remind ourselves of the importance of having safe habits on the road.

Our lives, our passengers’ lives, and the lives of other drivers around us are dependent on our ability to make smart decisions behind the wheel. 

Types of distractions

Fact—in 2020, the average driver used their phone 18 times for every 100 miles driven. That means they picked up their phone at least one time every 5 ½ miles. You can learn about this statistic and more in Root’s Distracted Driving Report

Now, what are the different types of distractions? 

There are three categories that a distraction can fall under: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions are anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road. Rubbernecking while driving is a good example of this. 

The term “rubbernecking” is used to describe when a driver turns their attention towards an incident happening off to the side of the road, such as the aftermath of a car crash. Accidents happen—try to keep your eyes forward to avoid causing another one. 

A manual distraction is anything that takes your hands off the wheel such as texting and driving or eating and driving. Anything that takes one or both of your hands away from the steering wheel can wait until you’ve reached your destination. 

A cognitive distraction is one that takes over your thoughts. Do you tend to drift off and daydream? It is very important to stay present while driving. A cognitive driving distraction is the equivalent of driving while under the influence or without proper sleep.  

Train your brain to focus on the task at hand—save any texting, eating, or daydreaming for when you’ve made it to where you’re going.

Staying focused on the road

Having safe on-the-road habits is so important for both yourself and the people around you. Here are some quick tips for staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions while driving:

  • Silence your phone. It’s best to not even have it in your line of sight. 

  • Know where you’re going. Figure out the directions to your destination before you leave the driveway.

  • Less is more. Try to limit the number of passengers riding with you whenever possible. This is one of the top distractions for young drivers

  • Prepare your playlist, and make it long. Music and podcasts should be queued up ahead of time so that you won’t have to mess with your phone or radio controls when your playlist stops short or starts to loop.

You can find even more helpful tips about staying focused and avoiding distractions across the Root blog.

How Root rewards good drivers

Let’s talk about how Root works. You see, we only insure the best drivers. So we are able to offer our users fair rates since they don’t have to pay for the mistakes of those riskier drivers.

Getting started with us is simple. Just download our easy-to-use app and take the test drive. After driving around like normal for a few weeks, you will receive a quote based primarily on your driving behavior.

Because of Root’s commitment to fairness, our policyholders can save up to $900/year on their car insurance premiums. 

Do we have your attention?

Make the switch—see just how much you could save by putting the phone away. Get a quote

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