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What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving refers to any activity or state of mind that diverts your attention away from strictly focusing on driving. Distracted driving endangers drivers, passengers, and pedestrians or bicyclists.

Distractions can be:
  • visual: you take your eyes off the road
  • manual: you take your hands off the wheel
  • cognitive: you take your mind off of driving, which limits awareness
Texting includes all three of these distractions and is considered the most dangerous.

Other distractions that can cause your focus to shift and lead to a wreck are:
  • talking on a cell phone -- even if it is hands free
  • talking with other passengers
  • interacting with children in the back seat
  • eating and drinking
  • grooming or applying makeup
  • reading, including maps or a GPS
  • adjusting a radio/MP3 player/CD player
This content originally appeared on http://www.livehealthyaustin.com/
Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine
Distracted driving is driving while using a cell phone or texting. A study reveled that our brains are not hard wired to physically process all the things required for safe driving while speaking on a cell phone, hands free or not. Talking on the phone makes you 4 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. If you text and drive, you are 8 times more likely to be involved in a serious car crash.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.