Just as it is in other states, distracted driving is a problem in North Carolina. In fact, in a recent five-year period, there were nearly 55,000 car accidents involving distracted drivers in the Tar Heel State. While storing your smartphone until you reach your destination is an effective way to stay safe on the road, you should also be careful with other types of distracted driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there are three types of distracted driving: manual, visual and cognitive. With manual distracted driving, you remove your hands from the steering wheel. Visual distracted driving, by contrast, involves looking away from the road. Cognitive distractions occur when you let your mind wander. Here are three types of cognitive distractions that may put you at risk:

  1. Letting your mind wander 

If you have been driving for at least a few years, you may think you can operate your vehicle without much thought. That simply is not true. On the contrary, you need to maintain focus to avoid collisions, stay on the roadway and perform other driving tasks.

  1. Using hands-free devices 

Texting and driving is against the law in North Carolina. The same is true for cellphone usage for drivers who are under 18. A hands-free device may not be the solution, though. Recent studies suggest that hands-free devices may be no safer than handheld ones.

  1. Listening to music 

Driving can be boring. To pass the time, you may want to listen to your favorite band or a new podcast. Jamming to certain types of music may increase your odds of having an automobile accident.

You do not want to engage in any type of distracted driving. While you may easily avoid manual and visual distractions, you must also be aware of cognitive ones. By recognizing how you can easily distract your brain when you are behind the wheel, you can better plan for arriving at your destination safely.