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Why is distracted driving a huge issue?

Driving takes a lot of concentration. When a driver is distracted by anything, they face the possibility of causing a serious wreck. While some people automatically associate cellphones with distracted driving crashes, there are many other things that can cause this problem.

In a nutshell, anything that takes a driver's attention away from the road is a distraction. Crashes caused by distractions are horrific because they're all preventable.

What are the types of distractions?

There are three types of distractions, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many things that distract drivers involve more than one of the following:

  • Manual: A manual distraction is one that causes the driver to take their hand off the steering wheel.
  • Visual: A visual distraction occurs when the driver has to take their eyes off the road.
  • Cognitive: A cognitive distraction happens when the driver isn't thinking about driving.

There are many ways that these types of distractions can occur. While it is bad for one type to happen, the situation becomes even more dangerous when there is more than one occurring at the same time.

What are some examples of distractions?

Texting is a distraction that combines all three types. The driver needs a hand for the phone. They have to read the message so their eyes aren't on the road. They have to think about what it means and how to reply, which takes their thoughts off driving.

Looking at billboards is a visual distraction that can also involve a cognitive one if the person has to think about the message. Eating and drinking require the person to take their hands off the wheel, so these are manual distractions. Talking to others in the vehicle is a cognitive distraction since your focus isn't on the road.

Why are distractions dangerous?

Distractions are dangerous because they impact the driver's ability to make decisions about driving. They are problematic at all speeds, but more so at higher speeds. A vehicle that's moving 55 miles per hour travels the length of a regulation football field in just five seconds. Incidentally, five seconds is the time that it takes to read an average text message. This leaves a lot of time for a crash to occur.

People who are injured in distracted driving crashes might opt to seek compensation for the damages they have to deal with. This can include everything from medical care costs and missed wages to daily care assistance expenses and other similar factors.

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