Driving Distracted?

Driving DistractedAmericans may be the ultimate multi-taskers, but that may not be such a positive label when you’re in the car. In fact, distracted driving – driving while focused on something other than the road – is to blame for nearly 20 percent of collisions.

States throughout the nation have already banned the use of cell phones – whether texting or talking on a handheld phone – while on the road. And it looks like Nevada may not be too far behind. In fact, the 2011 legislative session will see four bills targeted to eliminate distracted driving. All four would ban texting and driving, while two specifically ban talking on mobile handsets.

Whether on the bill or not, distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phone activity. In fact, many accidents are caused by drivers fumbling with the radio or navigation system, reading a map, eating, applying makeup or grooming.

There are three main types of distracted driving: Visual distraction happens when the driver is focusing his or her eyes on something other than the road. Manual distraction means that the driver is using his or her hands for something other than steering. Cognitive distraction is a driver whose mind is focused on something other than the task at hand – driving.

While it may be too soon to tell whether Nevada will join the many cell-phone free roads in America, it’s as good a time as any to eliminate our own distracted driving – and help decrease that 20 percent.

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