During Each Mile You Drive, You Make Approximately 150 Driving-Related Decisions
Driving is more than just pointing your vehicle in the right direction and turning the wheel. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, you’re responsible for making dozens of decisions during each mile of your trip. According to a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the average driver makes approximately 150 driving-related decisions per mile. That adds up to an impressive 900 decisions over a six mile drive!
Types of Driving-Related Decisions
So what kind of decisions are we talking about here? Well, most of the decisions are small, subconscious choices that you make without even thinking about them. You change your speed, adjust your position on the road, and scan the environment for any potential hazards. You also process information about your current environment, such as the speed of the car in the lane next to you, or the position of the sun in the sky.
On top of these unconscious decisions, there are also explicit decisions that you need to make in order to stay safe. That includes watching out for pedestrians, checking for cyclists, and following the speed limit. Additionally, you may need to react quickly to unexpected events, such as a child running out into the road or a sudden change in the weather.
Why It Matters
Being aware of the sheer number of decisions that you make while driving is important for two primary reasons:
- It reinforces the fact that driving is a complex activity, and one that should not be taken lightly. It also serves as a reminder that driving is a skill that needs to be developed and honed over time.
- It helps to explain why distracted driving can be so dangerous – when you’re distracted, you’re not paying attention to the decisions that you need to make in order to navigate safely.
Next time you find yourself behind the wheel, take a moment to appreciate the complexity of driving. Think about the fact that, during each mile you drive, you’re making approximately 150 decisions in order to stay safe. With that knowledge, you can make sure that you’re staying focused and alert each time you’re out on the road.