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Three Classifications of Distractions Behind the Wheel

Man using cell phone texting while drivingDistracted driving is on the rise across America, and the behavior has been contributed to thousands of accidents each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Injury Center, there are more than 3,000 deaths each year due to motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving.

Three Categories of Distracted Driving

At this point in time, most people know what distracted driving is: A lack of attentiveness behind the wheel that leads to an inability to drive appropriately. What many people don’t know is that there are actually three categories of distracted driving.


Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off the road. A visual distraction could be any number of things. Your children may be fighting in the backseat, causing you to turn around and discipline them. You may pass a car accident on the opposite side of the road and turn your head to look. Anything that causes you to remove your eyes from the road is considered a visual distraction.

2. Manual

This is when your hands leave the wheel or your feet lose contact with the pedals. You may drop something on the seat beside you and reach to pick it up. You may drop something onto the floorboard and move your feet to pick it up. Any of these types of things are dangerous behaviors as they cause you to lose total control of the vehicle. Keeping your hands on the wheel and your feet on the pedals is necessary to drive your car properly.

3. Cognitive

A cognitive distraction is one that causes your mind to wander. This may not seem like an issue, but that feeling of auto-pilot that we have all had when we get to wear we are going isn’t safe. People may daydream behind the wheel. They may slip into the driver’s seat after just having a fight with their partner. They may have had a terrible day at work and are unable to think of anything else. Cognitive distractions can be just as dangerous as physical distractions when it comes to driving.

As you may well know, cell phone use is the most common form of distracted driving. It fits into all three categories, especially if you’re texting. You look at your phone, use at least one hand to text, and stop cognitively paying attention to the road.

When a person is distracted from the task of driving, they make mistakes. It is these mistakes that can lead to collisions, and those accidents can lead to serious injury or even death. When a person causes an accident due to distracted driving, they may be held liable for paying medical bills, making up for lost wages and more.

If you have been involved in an accident in Charlotte, you may have the legal right to compensation for injuries, lost wages and more. Call our experienced team of personal injury attorneys today to arrange for a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation and discover more about your options. We are here for you and your family as you begin to move forward with your lives.

Posted In: Distracted Driving

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