Driving Distractions and the Connected Car

Mike Conlon from Metra Transit discussed the psychological reasoning behind distracted driving

By Megan Purazrang
|  Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014  |  Updated 12:34 PM CDT
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Texting while driving isn’t the only distraction for drivers on the road.

Mike Conlon from Metra Transit discussed the psychological reasoning behind distracted driving at the Chicago Auto Show on Tuesday.

Conlon said there are three main distractions that occur while driving.

1. The Visual Distraction

The visual distraction is seeing around or outside of the car and not paying attention fully on the road directly in front. A manual distraction occurs when hands are taken off of the wheel to multitask such as grabbing a cellphone, eating or drinking. Cognitive distractions are anything that takes the mind away from the road.

2. Conversations

Conversations while driving, even with another person within the same vehicle, are also considered a risk. Conlon emphasized this when he described a scenario of driving through intense highway traffic and how, more often than not, a conversation will immediately stop so the driver has full attention to focus on the road.

3. Technology

A connected car that has technology advances allowing a driver to have access to multiple functions adds to the concern of safety, Conlon said.

The reason a driver will make the choice to participate in an activity that involves multitasking while operating a vehicle comes down to an expectation that the act will ultimately resulting in a positive outcome, Conlon said. But that isn't always the case.

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