Any time you do something that takes your attention away from the road while driving, you become a distracted driver. On top of using your cellphone while driving, activities like eating, drinking, applying makeup, looking for directions and switching the radio can distract you.
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office for Highway Safety, it is illegal for drivers to talk on the phone or have a phone touch any part of their body while they try to communicate with someone and drive. Although using a cellphone and driving is illegal in Georgia, any type of cognitive, visual or manual distraction is dangerous.
When you stop actively thinking about driving and your mind wanders to something else, you experience cognitive distraction. For instance, if you focus on your audiobook instead of driving, you become cognitively distracted.
Visual distraction occurs when you stop looking at the road in front of you, and it makes a car accident more likely. You can become visually distracted if, for example, you look at your GPS instead of the road.
You can become manually distracted if you remove your hands from the steering wheel while driving. For example, if you take your hands off the wheel to reach for your phone, you become manually distracted.
Although any form of manual, visual or cognitive distraction puts you and other drivers at risk, texting and driving is the most dangerous type of distraction. This is because it combines all three types of driver distraction.