3 types of driver distraction and why distraction is so dangerous

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Car Accidents |

You can break driving distractions down into three main categories, as has been done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main categories are as follows:

  1. Visual distractions: When a driver is looking at their cellphone or passenger, for example, rather than looking at the road or the other vehicles.
  2. Manual distractions: When a driver takes their hands off of the steering wheel or the other controls, perhaps to pick up something on the floor or interact with unrestrained pets.
  3. Cognitive distractions: When a driver is mentally distracted, perhaps because their mind is wandering or because they are listening to music.

There are many specific activities that someone can engage in that qualify as distractions, from eating in the car to sending a text message to talking to their children on a drive to school. As such, motorists need to think critically about all the ways in which their distraction-related behavior could endanger themselves and others.

Why distraction is so problematic

Distracted driving is dangerous for several reasons, mainly due to the fact that it takes a driver’s attention off of the street. This diversion can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react quickly and appropriately to potential hazards, leading to an increased risk of accidents and collisions.

When drivers are distracted, their attention shifts, which can lead to a driver missing critical visual and auditory cues on the road, like stop lights, cyclists, pedestrians, sirens, other vehicles and unexpected obstacles. On top of that, distractions can slow a driver’s reaction time. It usually takes 1.5 seconds to see a hazard and start braking, but distraction could add entire seconds to that time, making an accident much more likely.

Overall, distracted driving significantly increases the odds of motor vehicle accidents. Texting while driving is especially problematic as it combines visual, manual and cognitive distractions, taking the driver’s eyes, hands and focus away from driving all at once.

Have you been injured?

You can avoid distraction every time you drive and still be injured by another distracted driver who drifts over the centerline or runs a stop sign. Make sure you know how to seek financial compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care needs, etc. in the event that you sustain collision-related harm. When you’re driving safely and someone else is not, you don’t deserve to be burdened by the financial consequences of that reality.

Archives