The 3 main types of distracted driving

Distracted driving is an umbrella term that generally refers to any activities a driver may engage in that can divert their attention away from traffic and the act of driving. Distractions are a major cause of serious car accidents in the United States. In fact, some studies claim that more than 3,000 people lose their lives annually in accidents caused by distraction.

To learn how to avoid distractions – and harm caused by others who are distracted – you need to know what they are and how they happen. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main types of distracted driving.

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road. Examples include:

  • Texting or using a smartphone
  • Adjusting the car’s GPS system or radio
  • Looking at a map or reading a list of instructions
  • Gazing at scenery or other accidents

To be safe, a driver should always be looking at traffic, the road ahead of them or their mirrors.

Manual Distractions

Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the steering wheel or other controls. Examples include:

  • Texting or using a smartphone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming (e.g., applying makeup, shaving)
  • Adjusting the car’s controls (e.g., temperature, radio)

A lot of manual distractions involve things people do every day and often do not even think of as dangerous activities.

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions involve taking your attention off of the act of driving, even when you’re still looking at the road. Mental distractions can be voluntary or involuntary, such as when someone starts daydreaming and cannot remember getting from one place to another. Examples include:

  • Talking on a hands-free or handheld phone
  • Engaging in deep or emotionally charged conversations
  • Daydreaming or being lost in thought
  • Worrying about personal or work-related issues

Distracted driving can dramatically increase the odds of crashes that lead to injuries and fatalities. It’s important for drivers to remain focused and attentive. They must keep their mind focused on the task of driving, putting the safety of others above these distractions.

Unfortunately, distracted driving accidents happen every day, and many people suffer serious harm as a result of these wrecks. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the actions of a distracted motorist, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance from an Oklahoma City car accident attorney in order to explore your rights and options under the law.