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What are the three types of driving distractions?

Driving distractions are a major problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2,800 people were killed in 2018 in distracted driving accidents, and more than 400,000 were injured during the same year from distracted driving collisions. New Yorkers are hurt in distracted driving accidents each day, and many of these crashes are preventable.

When drivers understand what constitutes a distraction, they can make better decisions about how to drive safely. This post will explain the 3 types of driving distractions identified by the CDC and will provide examples of all. This informational post should not be read as legal advice or guidance on specific distracted driving claims.

Type #1: Visual distractions

Visual distractions are distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road. They may come from text flashing up on a driver’s cell phone screen or from an action taken by a passenger in their vehicle. When a driver looks at something other than the road, they are engaged in a visual distraction.

Type #2: Manual distractions

Manual distractions can happen in conjunction with visual distractions. For example, if a driver is visually distracted by a text message, they may further their distraction with the manual distraction of reaching for their phone. When a driver takes their hands off the wheel, then they may be considered manually distracted from driving. Eating, drinking, holding a phone or map, or even changing the radio station may all constitute manual distractions.

Type #3: Cognitive distractions

Cognitive distractions include distractions that pull a driver’s mind away from the task of driving. When a driver is thinking about a conflict at work, or trying to remember if they paid their utility bill, their mind is not concentrating on driving. Cognitive distractions can be difficult to manage when drivers are behind the wheels of their cars.

Distractions are dangerous and drivers can take proactive steps to prevent them. When they do not and accidents happen, victims may have rights to seek compensation for their losses. Personal injury attorneys can support their needs and answer their claims-based questions.

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