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Understanding visual, manual and cognitive distractions

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2023 | Car Accidents

Car accidents can lead to serious and fatal injuries. In fact, there are more than three thousand fatal car accidents a day, roughly ranging from 1.3 million deaths worldwide a year. Of these three thousand deaths, a large portion of these accidents is caused by distracted driving. 

Distracted driving is caused by three factors:

  1. Visual distraction: anything that causes a driver to look away from the road.
  2. Manual distraction: anything that might cause a driver to take their hands off the wheel.
  3. Cognitive distraction: anything that would draw someone’s mind off of driving.

While it may be easy to understand these three factors of distracted driving, it may be hard to visualize when it would happen. Below are two times an accident would occur after a distraction:

Example #1: Texting

Texting and driving is one of the largest causes of distracted driving. This is likely because phones are so integrated into people’s lives that they often forget when they should be put aside. 

For instance, a driver may hear their phone chime, signaling they were just texted. Their mind then wonders who’s texting them and the next chance they get they check their phone, taking their hand off the wheel. As they’re looking down at their phone and away from the road, they don’t realize that they should stop at a red light and end up speeding through and into another car.

Example #2: Eating

Many restaurants provide drive-thru services. Because of this, many people don’t realize just how dangerous it is to eat and drive.

A driver, for example, may have just ordered a meal to go. They head back on the road and reach in the bag for their food. They’re not only taking a hand off the wheel, reducing their ability to control the car, but they’re focusing more on the food than the road. This could then lead the driver to rear-end a vehicle, or worse. 

While you may realize the dangers of distracted driving, that doesn’t mean other drivers do. As such, you may end up in a car accident and need to know your legal options when seeking compensation for your injuries.