What are the 3 main types of distracted driving?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | Car Accidents

Individual examples of distracted driving have a very wide range. There are dozens – if not hundreds – of forms of distraction. These include texting and driving, adjusting the radio station, programming the GPS, reading billboards, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, listening to music and much more.

However, you can break all of the different types of distracted driving down into three general categories, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are as follows:

1. Manual distractions

Physical or manual distractions limit someone’s ability to control the car. An example would be when the driver lets go of the steering wheel to reach down and pick up a cellphone that they dropped on the floor. But even necessary actions, like adjusting the rearview mirror, can be manual distractions. 

2. Visual distractions

Additionally, drivers who aren’t looking at the road are distracted, even when they are still holding the steering wheel. To continue to use the cellphone as an example, if that driver picks it up and looks at the screen to see if they have any notifications, they are distracted. They may still be holding the wheel, but it only takes a few seconds to travel the length of a football field without looking up. That’s a serious distraction. 

3. Cognitive distractions

Finally, there’s a mental aspect to distraction that exists independently of the physical or visual issues. Someone who is thinking about the text they just received or who is “lost in thought” is suffering from cognitive distractions.

All of these distractions have the potential to cause serious car accidents leading to severe injuries or even death. Those who have been injured by the negligence of other drivers must know how to seek financial compensation.



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Nathan A. Cobb