Distracted driving occurs when you take your full focus away from operating a vehicle. Driver distraction can result in serious injuries that make it difficult to return to life as it used to be.
Many people assume that distracted driving only involves looking at your phone while you drive. However, there are many types of distracted driving that can affect your ability to drive safely.
In 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,142 people died in car accidents involving driver distraction, and many of these accidents involved visual distractions. Visual distractions divert your eyes from the road. This category includes activities such as texting, adjusting the GPS or searching for items within the vehicle.
Manual distractions involve activities that take your hands off the steering wheel. Examples include eating, grooming or reaching for items in the backseat.
Cognitive distractions affect your mental focus on driving. Daydreaming, engaging in deep conversations or feeling preoccupied with personal matters are examples. Mental distractions can impair decision-making and reaction times, leading to an increased likelihood of accidents.
Auditory distractions involve sounds that divert your attention from the road. Loud music, talking on the phone without a hands-free device or listening to distracting podcasts can compromise your ability to hear important auditory cues, such as sirens or honking horns.
Electronic device distractions
The use of electronic devices while driving is a major contributor to distracted driving incidents. Texting, talking on the phone or using mobile apps diverts attention from the road. Even hands-free devices can be problematic, as they may lead to cognitive distractions.
Interactions with passengers can also result in distraction. Engaging in heated discussions, tending to the needs of children or pets in the car or turning to speak to passengers can divert attention away from safe driving practices.
While you can do your best to avoid distracted driving, others are not as diligent. If you sustained injuries in an accident involving distracted driving, take steps to protect your interests.