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3 key types of driver distraction that cause accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

It’s no secret that driver distraction can lead directly to car accidents. This is why texting and driving has been banned and why there have been safety campaigns to convince people not to use their phones in the car. Driving is far more difficult and complicated than many drivers even realize while they do it, so any distraction is problematic.

To help better understand this issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have broken distracted driving down into three key areas. These are not examples of specific actions, such as texting and driving, but of the different types of actual distraction that the person is facing. We will also go over some examples to make it clear how this occurs.

Visual distractions

A driver always needs to be looking at the road ahead of the car and watching the traffic around them so that they can react properly. A visual distraction means that they’re not doing so. An example could be a parent who has a child in the back seat. If the child asks for a snack and the parent turns around to hand it to them, they are visually distracted for that time.

Manual distractions

Driver’s ed courses start by informing young people of exactly where they should hold the wheel with both of their hands while they drive. Whenever someone fails to do so, it’s a manual distraction that means they don’t have full control over the vehicle. The example from the above works again. Even if the parent keeps one hand on the wheel, it’s a manual distraction as they reach back to him the snack to the child.

Cognitive distractions

One of the hardest types of distraction to avoid is a mental distraction. This can also be invisible to others. The driver will still be holding the wheel as they were taught, and they will still be watching the road, but daydreaming or getting too wrapped up in the music or audiobook that they’re listening to can take their attention off of the road. This sort of mental distraction can still cause crashes among drivers who appear to be taking safety seriously.

Have you been injured in an accident caused by any one of these distracted drivers? If so, it is very important to look into your rights to seek financial compensation.