What is distracted driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from the task of safe driving.¹ Examples include:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Interacting with other occupants
- Adjusting dashboards (CB radio, temperature controls, navigation system, etc.)
- "Getting lost in thought" or general distraction
The new technologies appearing in both passenger and commercial vehicles add more dangerous distractions behind the wheel, even when they are “hands free.”
The bottom line: when a driver’s attention isn’t fully engaged, for any reason, their driving becomes unsafe and the risk of collision increases.
Types of driving distractions
The NHTSA has identified three types:
These types of distraction are not mutually exclusive. In fact, drivers who engage in one distracting behavior are more likely to juggle other risky behaviors at the same time.2 One of the most well-known examples is texting.
Here is a real-life video of that exact situation as captured by a Lytx DriveCam: