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Common Types of Driving Distractions

freeway road sign

In recent years, one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States is distracted driving, which is defined as driving while performing another activity that takes your attention away from the main task of safely operating a vehicle. 

Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately eight people in the U.S. are killed in distracted driving accidents every day. 

The following are the three main types of driving distractions: 

  • Manual distractions – These distractions cause you to take one or both hands off the wheel in order to perform a task. Common types of manual distractions include texting, eating and drinking, grooming (e.g., applying makeup or brushing your teeth), smoking, turning knobs (e.g., climate control, radio, etc.) in the vehicle, attempting to find something inside the vehicle or through personal belongings. With one or both hands preoccupied, you may be unable to properly steer the vehicle in order to avoid an accident or otherwise an unexpected road condition. 

  • Visual distractions – These distractions cause you to take your eyes away from the road. Common examples of visual distractions include looking at your phone, a song that’s playing on the radio, direction on a GPS navigation device, passing billboards along the road, or the mirror. When your eyes are distracted, you are unable to properly assess your surroundings for potential dangers. 

  • Cognitive distractions – These distractions cause you to take your focus away from driving. Common types of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, talking to other passengers, listening to the radio, being stressed, and even daydreaming. Cognitive distractions can be deceiving since drivers can see and survey their surroundings, but they cannot completely process hazardous road conditions. 

Driving requires our full attention, which is why we must avoid any kind of distraction at all costs. Do not take any calls, answer texts or e-mails, or check your phone while on the road. If you are using a navigation system, read the directions before you start driving to be aware of where you are headed. Instead of searching for your favorite radio station or your favorite song, use your pre-sets or create a playlist on your music streaming service. 

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver in Woodstock, call The Dickinson Law Firm, LLC at (770) 924-8155 or fill out our online contact form today to request a free initial consultation. Also serving clients in Atlanta, Northern Georgia, and the surrounding areas!