Keeping Your Hands on the Wheel
Listening to the car radio while driving isn't really a distraction because your hands typically remain on the wheel as you listen. However, every time you take your eyes off the road to look at the radio or change the channels, then your risk of an auto collision begins to rise.
When this happens, it is considered distracted driving. You are no longer focusing on the road and have divided your attention between staying in your lane and finding a better radio station.
Another huge distraction for drivers is texting and really anything else that forces their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road. Distracted driving is dangerous and even taking your eyes off the road for a second to switch out a CD or adjust the volume is just as bad as if you were to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road to text on your phone.
Did you know that radio use is one of the main culprits in auto collisions that involve distracted drivers? The average person spends around 30 minutes each day commuting to and from work or school, and many of these people use their radio or CD player for entertainment while in their vehicle.
Why the Radio Is a Distraction
One of the biggest dangers the radio poses while you are driving is the fact that it has become a manual distraction. This means you are taking one hand off the wheel, which can significantly reduce your reaction time and increase your risk of an auto accident. The radio can also prove to be a cognitive distraction as well.
For example, if you listen to the news or weather, talk radio, or a podcast, then a certain amount of your attention is then taken away from driving. Your mind is more focused on what you are listening to, which can seriously distract any driver.
The radio can also take away from other sounds you should be paying attention to, including sounds that could alert you to something wrong with your vehicle or the road. So, if you choose to play the radio while driving, consider keeping it a lower volume so that you can pay attention to the road and what is going on around you.
Other Distractions to Avoid
In addition to the radio, there are other distractions you should avoid while driving that include:
• Checking your email
• Switching out a CD
• Grooming yourself
• Reading anything, including a map
• Paying too much attention to your navigation system
• Watching a video while driving
• Eating and drinking
• Other passengers in the vehicle
Remember, car accidents are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 20. Car accidents also make up approximately one-third of all deaths for this age group as well.
This is because this age group is more susceptible to these kinds of distractions compared to older and more experienced drivers.
Avoid distracted driving as much as you can. Never drive while tired, limit the number of passengers you have, and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, so you don't find yourself in a hurry..