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Types of Distracted Driving

By Michael London on July 17, 2018


Woman applying makeup while drivingThere are multiple factors that contribute to the high number of car accidents in the United States. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these accidents are directly linked to the negligent actions of drivers.

Distracted driving is a particular concern. This practice is a contributing factor in almost one-fifth of all traffic collisions. These car accidents often cause significant injuries.

At Douglas & London, our team of car accident attorneys have handled cases involving various types of distracted driving. Here, we go over the types of distracted driving that can leave our New York, NY clients dealing with physical, emotional, and financial losses.

Visual Distractions

Vision is obviously extremely important when it comes to driving. Good vision allows drivers to clearly see traffic conditions, observe the actions of surrounding vehicles, and remain aware of objects or other obstacles in the road. Being able to see potential hazards gives drivers time to respond and take appropriate actions to avoid an accident.

Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road. Since many visual distractions only avert the eyes for a few seconds, many drivers mistakenly think taking the eyes off of the road isn’t a big concern. However, a car can travel a great distance in a surprisingly short amount of time, so every second really does matter.

The following are some of the most common types of distracted driving involving visual distractions:

  • Texting
  • Dialing a phone number
  • Looking at a navigation system
  • Rubbernecking (looking at an accident or other situations outside the vehicle)
  • Applying makeup

Manual Distractions

The hands play a vital role in driving. Drivers use their hands to direct the steering wheel, shift gears, and, ultimately, control the vehicle. A manual distraction is any practice that takes one or two hands off the steering wheel.

If a sudden hazard appears, a driver will not be able to respond as quickly or as well if his or her hands are being used for other tasks. As with visual distractions, a manual distraction only needs to divert the hands for a few seconds to be a concern.

Types of distracted driving that involve manual distractions include the following:

  • Texting
  • Dialing a phone number
  • Applying makeup
  • Changing the radio station
  • Eating or drinking

Cognitive Distractions

A task does not have to divert a person’s eyes from the road or their hands from the steering wheel to be a distraction. Cognitive distractions, or those that divert a person’s attention, can be just as dangerous.

If a driver’s mind is focused on something other than driving, his or her response time will be significantly slower. This will drastically compromise the ability to avoid a car accident.

Types of distracted driving involving cognitive distractions include the following:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Adjusting a radio or navigational system

Contact Us

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligent actions, you may be due financial compensation for damages. To learn more about your legal rights following a car accident caused by distracted driving, contact the experienced attorneys at Douglas & London at your earliest convenience.

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