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Understanding the 3 types of distracted driving

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Personal Injury

Texting and driving is the first behavior that most people think of when asked to name an example of a distracted driving behavior. Others will point to things like talking to passengers, changing the radio station, looking at a GPS or trying to eat food from while operating a vehicle.

All of these are common examples of distracted driving, but there are hundreds – if not thousands – of additional behaviors that motorists can engage in that are considered distractions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has categorized most distractions into three separate classifications. Below are the three main types of distracted driving to avoid and to watch out for in others.

Physical or manual distractions

First and foremost, some distractions manifest in ways that prevent a driver from holding the wheel with both hands. An example of this could be someone who tries to drive with their knees while they read a map. A more modern example could be someone who tries to take a cellphone video while driving.

Mental or cognitive distractions

Next, some distractions are only in a driver’s head. Even daydreaming can be a distraction that leads to an accident. People who drive when they’re feeling angry or emotional could be cognitively distracted the entire time. Additionally, something like listening to music or an audiobook may help pass the time, but it naturally draws some of someone’s attention away from driving.

Visual distractions

The final category is just when someone doesn’t see things that they should have observed on the road. Maybe a driver is looking down to read a text message and doesn’t see a light turn red. Perhaps a driver turns their head to talk to a passenger and doesn’t notice that the car ahead of them is slowing down. Drivers always need to be looking at the road.

What if you’re injured in an accident?

Unfortunately, distracted driving is very common and serious accidents caused by this phenomenon occur every day. With the proliferation of in-car technology, this is likely to keep happening more and more often. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may have a right to financial compensation for medical bills and other costs. Seeking legal guidance can allow you to benefit from personalized feedback concerning your situation.