Illinois drivers have a responsibility to stay safe on the road to prevent accidents that can result in serious injuries and in death in the most tragic situations. Unfortunately, distracted driving has become more and more common over the years, and driving itself requires quite a bit of attention. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are three types of distracted driving and several ways to avoid them.

The first type of distracted driving is visual distraction. This is anything that prevents you from keeping your eyes on the road. Visual distractions include doing makeup, changing radio stations, adjusting navigation or GPS, looking at the view around you and even changing the temperature controls in the vehicle. Officials recommend that you always keep your eyes on the road, that you pull over any time you need to check directions and that you put your cell phone in silent mode while you are driving.

The second type of distracted driving is manual. This is anything that requires you to take either or both hands off the wheel. Common examples include smoking, drinking and eating, changing knobs in the car, adjusting a child’s car seat or seat belt or rummaging through a wallet or purse. To avoid manual distractions, you should keep your phone out of reach when driving, set all controls before starting the car and avoid reaching for any items while you are in control of a vehicle.

The final type of distracted driving is cognitive and is anything that takes your focus off the road. Common cognitive distractions include daydreaming, road rage, reviewing something in your mind that upsets you, speaking to a passenger or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To stay cognitively focused on the road, it is important to always keep your emotions in check, stay focused on the road and avoid any phone calls while driving as they can take your mind off the road.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.