It may seem like it only takes a second of your time to glance at your phone screen, turn around to your child, or open a packet of chips while driving. Yet, they all take your attention away from the road and require far more time and concentration than you think.
Take reading a phone message. First, you hear the notification and probably spend a few seconds wondering who it could be. Then you take a hand off the wheel to open the message, glancing at your phone, so you hit the right button before spending another few seconds reading it.
If it’s a simple message, you may forget about it straight away. Yet some could distract you for ages. For example, if it is your boss saying, “Come to my office as soon as you get in, “ or your partner saying, “We need to talk.”
You need to be superhuman to put such potentially life-changing messages out of your mind and focus entirely on the road.
Opening a packet of chips is less complex but still engages you for some time
You must constantly reach with one hand, searching to find the bag perched between your knees or on the seat next to you, then bring that hand up to your face. If someone stepped out in front of you, you would take longer to react than if you were not engaged in eating.
Insurance Information Insitute statistics put distracted driving as a factor in 8% of fatal crashes during 2020. The number of non-fatal crashes is likely to be much higher. If someone injures you in a crash, get legal help to investigate if they were distracted.