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Why are cognitive distractions dangerous

| May 19, 2021 | Auto accidents |

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in Tennessee, but many people don’t realize that there are multiple forms of distracted driving. There are visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive distractions. Here’s an explanation of what a cognitive distraction is and a few reasons why it is very dangerous.

What is cognitive distraction?

Cognitive distraction is when the driver isn’t mentally focused on driving, but rather is thinking about other things. This can happen if you are angry and focusing on what’s upsetting you instead of the road, or if you’re listening to a podcast and start paying more attention to their conversation instead of the other drivers on the road.

Why it is dangerous

The reason why cognitive distractions are so dangerous is that if you are not completely focused on what’s happening around you, it is much easier to end up in a devastating automobile accident. When you’re driving, things are happening very fast so if something happens that requires you to have a fast reaction time while you are cognitively distracted, you won’t be able to react in time.

Being cognitively distracted can also lead to you making poor driving decisions. If your mind gets preoccupied with something else, when it’s time for you to do something like switch a lane or turn on to another street, there’s a higher chance that you may accidentally hit another car due to your lack of focus. If you’re upset while driving, it can also lead to you to drive faster and more aggressively, which can also lead to an accident.

Get rid of anything that may distract you while you’re driving and always focus on your surroundings. If you are in an emotionally agitated state, it is best for you to not drive until you have calmed down.