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3 main types of distracted driving

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | Car Accidents

Every day, distracted driving causes car accidents. Some of these accidents leave people with serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries. Other accidents lead to fatalities. A serious crash can happen in just a split second, as it doesn’t take much distraction to cause a wreck. In just five seconds, a distracted driver could cover the entire length of a football field while failing to look at the road.

There are many different ways that drivers can get distracted. They may be changing the radio station, drinking coffee, talking to friends, adjusting the mirrors, eating a meal or something else entirely at the time of a wreck. Perhaps the best way to think about distracted driving is to break the concept down into its three main categories.

Cognitive distractions

First of all, there are some distractions that are mental in nature. Daydreaming is an example of this, or getting lost in thought. A student who just got in trouble at school or an employee who just had an argument with their boss may still be thinking about that interaction while they drive, for example, meaning that they are not primarily thinking about the road ahead.

Visual distractions

Many distractions are visual in nature, keeping a driver from looking at traffic around them. Some of these distractions are located outside of a car, such as a billboard. But others are within the vehicle, like when a driver looks down at the screen on their GPS. Another example could be a parent who turns around to talk to a child while still driving their vehicle.

Manual distractions

Finally, a lot of distractions are physical, as people often try to multitask – holding the wheel with one hand while trying to do something else with the other hand. They could be changing the radio station, picking up an item that they dropped on the floor or trying to type a text message at the time of an accident. Any time that the driver doesn’t have two hands on the controls, they are distracted.

Have you been injured?

Understanding distracted driving is important so that you can avoid it when you are on the road. But the unfortunate truth is that other drivers are still going to negligently cause accidents regardless of how you behave. As a result, if you suffer serious injuries, you’ll need to know how to seek financial compensation from an at-fault party by seeking legal guidance accordingly.