Distracted driving to most people means texting while driving. When people spot other drivers with a phone in their hand while driving, texting is usually what they suspect.
No one will deny that typing or reading a text message or email while driving is highly unsafe. However, it is actually not the most dangerous form of technological distraction while driving.
Research of drivers’ behavior and device use while driving found that another technological marvel is responsible for the most serious distractions while driving.
What screen is the most dangerous?
The top cause of technological distraction at the wheel is actually the manual entry of destination information into a global positioning system (GPS) device. This task is so distracting because it requires the use of the hands, eyes and brain. People may even need to use multiple screens at one if they don’t have the destination address memorized already. Between how thoroughly it engages people and how long it takes, there’s little question that GPS use is very dangerous while driving.
Some people use their smartphones for GPS navigation. Others have a system with a screen built into their dashboard. Some drivers even buy a special GPS device and pay for mobile service on that device to help them navigate unfamiliar roads.
People think of GPS devices as innately helpful and therefore not a distraction. However, GPS use is as dangerous as it may be helpful, making it important to pull over before programming your destination in whatever kind of system you have. Understanding the most dangerous forms of distraction can help you avoid those behaviors and hold others accountable for them if they cause a car crash with you.