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The Three Main Types of Distracted Driving

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. These accidents can involve multiple motor vehicles, a motor vehicle and a bicycle, or even a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. Regardless of who is involved, one of the leading contributors to these accidents today is distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is when a person drives while allowing some other activity to distract him or her from focusing on driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured each day by a distracted driver in the United States. That means each year 3,285 people are killed and 420,845 people are injured in our country by the negligence of distracted drivers. These people can be distracted by technologies like GPS devices, cell phones, or stereo systems. Electronic devices are far from the only source of distraction, however. Any activity a driver does while driving can act as a distraction. Similarly, if there are passengers in the car, the passengers can act as a distraction, particularly if the driver is relatively inexperienced.

What are the Three Types of Distracted Driving?

There are three main types of distractions one can encounter while driving.

  • Visual distractions

  • Manual distractions

  • Cognitive distractions

Visual distractions are distractions that cause a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road. Texting while driving is a classic example of this distraction. While a driver glances down to read a text message, he or she is no longer paying attention to what is going on around the car. During this brief moment, a pedestrian could walk into an unmarked crosswalk, an animal could run into the road, or a bicyclist could pull into the driver’s blind spot. Since the driver is not paying attention, he or she will not notice these things and a crash becomes much more likely.

Manual distractions are distractions that cause a driver to take his or her hands off of the wheel. the classic example of this distraction is when a driver uses both hands to light a cigarette while driving. While those hands are off the wheel, the driver has substantially diminished control over the car. If anything unexpected happens, the driver may not be able to react in time and may cause an accident.

Cognitive distractions are distractions that take your mind off of driving. Passengers can be a major cognitive distraction, especially for inexperienced drivers. While most drivers are perfectly capable of carrying on a simple conversation while driving, emotional or argumentative conversations can lead a driver to not think about what he or she is doing on the road. Similarly, drivers who are distraught, angry, or worried because of something that happened before or while they were in the car may be more focused on the source of that emotion than on the task of driving. This can lead to accidents.

Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a distracted driver, the experienced attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are here to help you with your case.Contact us today for a free consultation.