Distracted driving comes in many types and forms. Using a GPS may feel necessary, but it can be a distraction. Reading or sending a text message is certainly a common distraction that leads to thousands of car accidents every year. Even just listening to a song can be distracting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) generally observes that there are three main types of driving distraction to be aware of and to avoid whenever possible.
Drivers need to have their hands free to operate the vehicle, at the very least attempting to keep two hands on the wheel. A manual distraction is something like holding a cellphone, picking up a cup of coffee, or reaching to hand something to a child in the back seat. Having just one hand on the wheel, as so many people do, isn’t enough to stay reasonably safe.
A driver’s eyes should always be on the road or on their mirrors, scanning traffic around them. Visual distractions include in-car issues like reading a cellphone or turning to talk to a passenger, but can also include things like reading a street sign or a billboard. Many accidents happen when drivers are simply gawking at other accidents and emergency vehicles, and they fail to slow down enough in congested traffic.
There are many situations in which a driver may appear to be in control of their vehicle and paying attention to the road, but their mind is wandering. These cognitive or mental distractions can often be harder to spot, but they can certainly cause serious accidents. A good example of this is the phenomenon wherein someone can drive all the way to their destination and then realize they don’t remember the drive because they were thinking of something else.
What if distraction causes an accident?
Tens of thousands of people lose their lives in accidents every year, and many more are injured. Those who have been involved in serious crashes caused by others need to know if they have a right to seek financial compensation. If a distracted driver causes a crash, victims can work to safeguard their interests by seeking legal guidance.