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Distracted driving goes beyond texting

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Distracted Driving

If you ask someone what they think of when they hear the term “distracted driving,” they are likely to say something about texting while driving. However, we are surrounded by distractions whenever we get behind the wheel.

What are some of the most common distractions and why is distracted driving so dangerous?

The impact of distracted driving

There are three types of distracted driving:

  1. Manual distraction when you take your hands off the wheel
  2. Visual distraction by taking your eyes off the road
  3. Cognitive distraction occurs when you take your mind off driving

In addition to texting, which involves all three types of distraction, many other activities also pose a significant risk, including:

  • Eating and drinking
  • In-car technologies, such as GPS, music controls, temperature controls or touchscreens
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming, such as applying make-up, shaving, fixing your hair or checking your appearance in the rearview mirror
  • Reaching for items like a phone, wallet or sunglasses
  • Daydreaming

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States, claiming the lives of 3,308 people in 2022. Five seconds of distracted driving at 55 mph is the equivalent of closing your eyes and driving the length of a football field. When drivers are distracted, their reaction times are delayed, increasing the risk of a catastrophic accident.

To decrease your risk of driving distracted:

  • Ensure your mirrors and seat are adjusted, and your destination is programmed into your GPS
  • Have a meal or snack before getting behind the wheel
  • Politely ask your passengers to avoid engaging you in distracting conversations
  • Stay focused and alert and take regular breaks to rest and refresh

Despite doing these things, you could still be caught up in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. Understanding how to seek compensation will be crucial if injured.


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