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More than Texting: What is Distracted Driving?

According to the Bureau of Transportation, there are over 18,000 car accidents that happen each day in the United States, which is roughly 6.75 million car accidents each year. These are shocking statistics, and although a lot of these accidents are due to traffic violations and driving under the influence, an even larger percentage of these car accidents are a result of distracted driving.

By definition, distracted driving is any sort of activity that takes a driver’s attention away from focusing on the road. But what exactly does that entail? There can be many different types of distracted driving besides the most common form, which is texting. Cruz & Associates is here to give you all the information about different types of distracted driving so you can help keep yourself and your family safe on the roads!

Types of Distracted Driving

Distractions while driving can cause a driver to lose their focus on the road. Each of these instances fall into one, or multiple, of the types of distracted driving categories listed below.

Visual

Visual distractions while driving include any item or activity that causes you to take your eyes off the road. When driving, it can be easy to feel like you are in a safe little bubble inside your vehicle, but weather conditions, changing traffic patterns, and other distracted drivers can cause you to get into an accident if you are not paying attention to your surroundings.

Some visual distractions include:

    • Reading (including maps)
    • Glancing at your child in the rearview mirror to talk to them
    • Texting or checking emails
    • Looking in the mirror to put on makeup

Manual

Manual distractions are perhaps the most dangerous, and are classified as any activity that requires you to take your hands off of the wheel while driving. When driving, certain situations can quickly arise where you need to swerve off the road or into another lane, and you cannot do this effectively if you do not have full control of the wheel.

Some common manual distractions while driving include:

    • Changing the radio station or skipping a song on your phone
    • Eating or drinking
    • Texting or responding to emails
    • Making a phone call
    • Applying makeup
    • Reaching towards the backseat to get your child their tablet

Cognitive

Cognitive distractions are anything that forces you to take your mind off the road. Cognitive distractions are often forgotten about because you cannot always physically see the distraction, but if it takes your mental focus away from driving then it is still considered a distraction while driving. Oftentimes, manual and visual distractions also fall under the cognitive distraction category because they require your brain’s focus as well as your hands or eyes.

Cognitive distractions while driving might include:

    • Talking to passengers
    • Focusing on tweezing your eyebrows or putting on makeup
    • Trying to get your child to behave in the backseat
    • Daydreaming

Contact Cruz & Associates

If you have any additional questions about distractions while driving, or if you have been in an accident due to a distracted driver, give our Phoenix or Atlanta based offices a call to speak to an experienced attorney today. Our Cruz & Associates team will be happy to hear your situation and answer any questions you might have.

Distracted driver checking his email while driving on the interstate.

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