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Adjusting the car radio is one of the top 10 driving distractions

Summer is a popular time of year to enjoy a family vacation or even the occasional day trip around our beautiful island.

Keep in mind that distractions capable of causing an accident are everywhere. In fact, rated among the top 10 is the simple act of changing the channel on your car radio.

Three types

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, lists three kinds of distracted driving behaviors:

– Manual, which means taking your hands off the wheel

– Visual, when you take  your eyes off the road to look at something else

– Cognitive, which refers to allowing something to take your mind off driving

You may reach over to pet your dog, glance at the kids in the back seat or get lost in a daydream. These are all examples of manual, visual and cognitive distraction.

Top 10 driving distractions

  1. Becoming lost in thought
  2. Use of a cell phone
  3. Looking at something outside the car
  4. Looking at someone inside the car
  5. Using a device other than your cell phone
  6. Eating or drinking
  7. Adjusting your radio or the A/C
  8. Using cruise control, GPS or similar function
  9. Reaching for objects
  10. Smoking

You can add applying makeup, reading or driving when drowsy as common distractions.

Accident factor

The NHTSA reports that in 2019, distracted driving played a role in 8.5% of all fatal vehicle crashes. The agency also finds that phones distract drivers at least 10% of the time they spend behind the wheel. A crash can occur in seconds and the resulting injuries can change your life. Stay focused on your driving, stay safe and continue to enjoy summertime outings in Hawaii.