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What is distracted driving and why is it dangerous?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers should always ensure that they’re operating their vehicles safely, but there may be times when they allow themselves to succumb to distractions. This is dangerous for them and also puts others at risk of suffering from catastrophic injuries.

Even short distractions, such as those lasting just five seconds, can lead to serious crashes. At 55 miles per hour, a vehicle can go the full length of a football field in that short time. Do you think it’s wise to drive blindly down the length of a football field in traffic?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that an average of nine people die per day in this country because of distracted driving. There are three forms of distracted driving that can have a negative impact on driving abilities, and all drivers must avoid these at all times if they can.

Cognitive distractions

Cognitive distractions are ones that affect the mental abilities of the driver. This can include anything from having a conversation with other passengers to thinking about things that are going on at home.

Manual distractions

Manual distractions are things that make the driver take their hands off the steering wheel. Changing the climate control settings or reaching for the phone both fall under this category.

Visual distractions

Visual distractions are those that take the driver’s eyes off the road. Reading a text message is a common example for this type of distraction. Another example is looking up to read a billboard that’s on the side of the road.

Multi-category distractions

Some distractions fall into more than one category. For example, communicating with someone via text or messages requires the driver to hold the phone, look at the screen and think about what’s saying.

Even the safest motorist can be involved in a distracted driving crash if a distracted driver slams into their vehicle. These victims may need to seek immediate medical care. The cost of that care and missed wages at work can be considerable. These individuals may choose to seek compensation from the distracted driver who caused their harm. Time limits apply to these cases, so working with a legal representative to get a case established and moving forward can be beneficial.