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One of the best ways for teens to avoid crashes is to avoid distractions. Activities, such as texting, eating, or playing loud music while driving, are unnecessary distractions. By paying attention and eliminating potential distractions, you can ensure safety on the road.
Types of Distractions:
Knowing what the three main types of distractions are can help you and your teen recognize activities that could potentially be distracting you from driving.
Texting: A Major Cause of Distraction
Texting is one of the leading causes of distracted driving in the country, and here's why it's so dangerous: it encompasses all three of the major types of distractions. It requires you to manually take your hands off the wheel, you're looking at your cell phone instead of the road, and you have to mentally digest what you're reading and think up a response - which takes your mind off driving.
Learn more about texting and driving.
Stay Off the Phone, Even Hands-Free Phones
Hands free does not mean distraction free. The real issue at the core of talking on a mobile device while you're driving is cognitive distraction. This means being distracted mentally by the topic of a conversation, as opposed to being physically distracted by operating the phone. The answer to avoiding this kind of distraction is by simply not answering your cell phone when driving-if you absolutely have to, such as in the case of an emergency, either keep it extremely short or pull over and park.
Texting and talking on your cell phone are not the only activities that you should avoid while driving. The following activities have also been shown to cause driver distraction:
Driver training never really ends; it is a constantly evolving education that starts when you get your learners permit and continues indefinitely. Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But it is important that when we do, we take steps to correct those mistakes for the benefit of ourselves and those on the road with us. Staying focused behind the wheel and avoiding distractions is a fundamental part of that, and is a lesson that should be shared not only with new drivers, but with drivers of all ages.