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What are common cognitive distractions for drivers?

| Jun 2, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Illinois drivers are becoming more and more distracted when behind the wheel. While most people are familiar with the fact that texting while behind the wheel can be extremely dangerous, that’s not the only type of distraction that causes accidents. In fact, cognitive distractions can include anything inside or outside of the vehicle that puts a driver at a higher risk of being involved in an accident.


Some researchers estimate that one in every four motor vehicle accidents is caused by cellphone usage while in the vehicle. Cellphones have been a growing problem, and many campaigns are targeted at texting and driving. While this is extremely dangerous to do, that’s not the only way cellphones can be dangerous behind the wheel. Simply having a phone conversation, even with a wireless headset, can cause a cognitive distraction for the driver because they’re paying less attention to the road in front of them.


Another type of cognitive distraction that most people don’t give a lot of attention to when it comes to vehicle accidents is talking to other passengers inside of the vehicle. When you’re trying to engage in a conversation with another person, it takes your attention off the roadway and the task of driving. Even when taking just a few seconds to look over at the passenger riding with you, your car can travel a significant length. Traveling at 55 miles per hour for five seconds would allow you to drive the distance of an entire football field. That’s a long distance to drive without looking at the road.

Cognitive distractions are becoming more of an issue for many drivers on the roadway. As more gadgets are put into vehicles, drivers will increasingly find themselves trying to multitask while behind the wheel, which could lead to accidents. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, it’s important to simply focus on the task of driving.