Texting while driving and other forms of cell phone use are perhaps the most obvious forms of driver distraction, but a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that drivers who tune their radio can face an increased risk of distracted driving related crashes as well.
The NHTSA's study on the topic, Radio Tuning Effects on Visual and Driving Performance Measures (May 2013), revealed that "individual eye glances away from the forward road scene should not exceed 1.3 seconds and total eyes-off-road time to perform an entire task should not exceed 12.1 seconds." Drivers who take their eyes off the road to tune their radio for longer than 1.3 second glances or 12.1 seconds total were at an increased risk of crashing.
The NHTSA study also indicated that distraction caused by radio tuning while driving differed by vehicle and radio type. For example, some vehicles are equipped with radio tuners on the steering wheel, some vehicles have knob tuners, and some have button tuners. The main point of differentiating between types of radio tuners was to conclude that more complex car radios are associated with a greater total time of eyes off the road, and therefore a greater crash risk.
Any activity that takes a driver's attention off the road should be considered dangerous. Distracted driving is anything that causes visual, cognitive, or manual impairment. In other words, distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver's eyes off the road, mind away from the situation at hand, or hands off the wheel.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers encourages drivers to avoid driving distracted, because distracted driving can lead to serious car accidents. If you were involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, call us at (888) 612-7001 for a free consultation.