There’s no question that distracted driving is a major problem on this nation’s highways and byways. An average of nine people are killed in wrecks caused by distracted driving every single day, and many more are injured.
Today, cellular devices catch a lot of the blame for the problem, and they undeniably do contribute. But, cellphone use isn’t the only thing that distracts drivers. Indeed, distracted driving actually takes three different forms.
How does distracted driving happen?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, distracted driving can take any of the following forms:
- Manual distractions, or anything that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel of their vehicle. This could include things like drinking a cup of coffee while they travel or even reaching over to turn the knob on the car’s radio.
- Visual distractions, or anything that causes a driver to look away from the road for any length of time. This could be just a quick glance down at the GPS device in their car as they’re trying to find an address or a flashing electronic billboard that catches their eye.
- Cognitive distractions, or anything that causes a driver’s mind to wander away from the task at hand. This can include anything from a conversation with a passenger to an argument they had with their boss before they left work.
Cellular phones are, arguably, among the worst problems for drivers because they can easily combine all three kinds of distractions.
For example, imagine that you have your phone in your bag on the passenger seat and you hear the “ping” that indicates you have a text. Immediately, your mind may start to wonder who is texting you and the emotional pressure can cause your mind to drift even further. That’s already a cognitive distraction, and you end up with a manual distraction as you fumble for the phone in your bag. When you sneak a quick peek at the message, you experience a visual distraction. That’s why so many jurisdictions have laws against their use by drivers.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are as a driver, you can end up in a wreck with a driver who isn’t. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver’s negligence, you have every right to ask for compensation for your losses.