A Look at the Three Types of Distracted Driving

If you took a driver’s education class, you most likely learned about the basics of driving: keep your eyes on the road, hands should be at 10 and 2, etc. Even though most drivers know better, many give in to the temptation of their cell phone, dashboard controls or voice command systems, ultimately becoming distracted drivers. 

What is Distracted Driving?

So, what exactly is distracted driving? It’s anything that takes your attention away from the road. Experts break the issue down by type, which generally falls into three categories:

  • Manual: When you move your hands off the steering wheel
  • Visual: When you take your eyes off the road
  • Cognitive: When you space out or your mind wanders 

Distracted driving can involve one or all three of the above. Common distractions include: 

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Reading or sending texts
  • Entering directions into a GPS
  • Eating
  • In-vehicle controls
  • Using voice command technology
  • Other passengers in the vehicle

A single activity, such as texting while driving, can involve all three types of distractions, which is why it is so dangerous. Cell phone use is one of the most distracting activities that drivers participate in. 

Cell Phone Use and Distracted Driving Accidents

Did you know that using your cell phone while driving makes you 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident? According to the University of Utah, talking on your cell phone use while driving is equal to having three drinks. 

  • Drivers talking on their phones showed the same level of impairment as someone with a 0.08% blood alcohol level. 

Texting while driving increases your accident risk by 23 times. In the time it takes to send a text message, you can cover almost an entire football field (driving at 55mph). 

While you can do your part and not use your phone while driving, that doesn’t mean others will be as responsible. An NHTSA survey found that at any given moment, there are 660,000 drivers using their cell phones. Victims of crashes caused by distracted drivers know they are especially devastating because the accident was preventable.

Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

According to the latest statistics from NHTSA, 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were either affected or caused by distracted drivers. In 2015 crashes involving distracted drivers were responsible for:

  • 3,477 deaths 
  • 391,000 injures (estimated)

If you or a loved one were a victim of an auto accident caused by a distracted driver there could be grounds for a lawsuit. Most states have laws specifically in place that give rights to victims of distracted driving. For example, Colorado’s laws on distracted driving hold the at-fault driver legally responsible. 

There is no way to safely drive distracted. Don’t give in to the temptation, it’s not worth the potential consequences.  Put down the phone and arrive at your destination safely.

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