Distracted driving is more than people texting while driving. In fact, any behavior that withdraws a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction.

While many people may successfully get away with multitasking while they are driving, their behavior significantly endangers their life, the lives of their passengers and the safety and well-being of the motorists around them.

The prevalence of distraction

As technology has improved and become more accessible, distraction while driving has become more prevalent. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, a 2017 study revealed that an alarming 41 percent of screened drivers admitted to using their hands to manipulate their electronic devices while driving. While the development of various apps aims to discourage people from using their phones while driving, unless people opt into these apps, they are relatively useless. Another concern is onboard infotainment technology.

Outside of electronic distraction, people caught in emotional conversations, people who are driving with a noisy group of passengers and even people experiencing fatigue are all distracted to some degree. Other distractions include eating, looking for directions and watching the activity on the roadside among other things.

A group approach to education

Preventing distracted driving is the responsibility of every one according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Educators can encourage their students to put all of their focus on driving and minimize distractions by sharing statistics and visual imagery. Parents can contribute by setting a good example for their children. Teenagers can encourage each other and commit to being respectful passengers for their friends. Even still, employers may develop incentives for their workers who demonstrate responsible driving habits, especially those whose job requires them to operate company vehicles.