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3 types of distractions that negatively affect driving abilities

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers need to give their full attention to driving or they risk causing a crash. Distracted drivers are responsible for approximately nine deaths per day in this country. This equates to around 3,000 people – at minimum – who die annually because of drivers who are distracted.

While many drivers think they’re experienced enough to multitask while they drive, this is always unsafe behavior. Drivers who understand the three main types of distractions that are recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may help to keep the roads safer as a result.

Visual distractions impair focus

Visual distractions occur when drivers take their eyes off the road. Common examples include looking at a GPS device, reading text messages or glancing at a billboard. Even a short visual distraction can result in a delayed reaction to changes in traffic conditions, which can contribute to collisions.

Manual distractions impact vehicle control

Manual distractions involve taking one or both hands off the steering wheel. This can happen when a driver eats, adjusts the radio or reaches for an object in the car. When a driver’s hands aren’t on the wheel, their control over the vehicle is compromised, making it harder to steer or respond to emergencies. This lack of control increases the risk of veering off the road, missing a turn or failing to avoid obstacles, all of which can lead to accidents.

Cognitive distractions reduce concentration

Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. This can happen if they are deep in thought, talking to passengers or stressed about personal issues. When the mind is preoccupied, a driver may not notice important cues such as traffic signals, stop signs or the behavior of other drivers. This can lead to missed exits, improper lane changes and failure to yield, all of which heighten the risk of collisions.

Anyone who’s injured in a distracted driving crash may need urgent medical attention, which can be expensive. They may opt to pursue a compensation claim for financial damages against those responsible for their harm, but this must be done swiftly because of time limits built into the law.