Skip to main content
You can also sort pages by filters.
Table of Contents
Download the Full Book

Distracted Driving


Distracted driving has received a great deal of attention over the last decade. Although much of the attention and research has concentrated on cell phones and texting, that is just one of many potential distractions behind the wheel. NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving” (NHTSA, n.d.-a). Distractions can take many forms. Some activities may take a driver’s eyes off the road (visual distraction), the driver’s mind off the task of driving (cognitive distraction), or the driver’s hands off the wheel (manual distraction) with some behaviors, including texting, combine all three categories of distraction. NHTSA estimates that distracted driving contributed to 3,522 fatalities during 2021, or 8% of all traffic fatalities (NCSA, 2023).