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These 3 Main Categories of Distractions Often Cause Car Accidents


Let’s break down the three main categories of distracted driving to help you stay focused and safe every time you hit the road.

News of people being killed or seriously injured in distracted-related car wrecks has been on the rise and at an alarming rate. According to the NHTSA, in 2018 alone, approximately 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents across the US.

Let’s break down the three main categories of distracted driving to help you stay focused and safe every time you hit the road.

driver looking in rearview mirror

Distracted Driving: Definition and Types

Distracted driving can be defined as any activity that diverts your attention from driving. The distractions can be anything from a phone call, deep thoughts, talking with passengers, daydreaming, you name it. Unfortunately, distracted driving increases your risk for life-threatening accidents.

Here are the three categories researchers and law enforcement agencies use to describe distracted driving:

1. Manual Distractions

Manual distractions involve taking one or both of your hands off the steering wheel to do other activities such as eating, smoking, drinking, tuning your car radio, or adjusting your child’s seat. These distractions slow your reflexes. As a result, even with your eyes on the road, you may be unable to act fast enough to avoid colliding with pedestrians, animals, or other cars that might appear out of nowhere.

 2. Visual Distractions

When you hear the term distracted driving, the image that comes to your mind is that of a driver taking their eyes off the road. And you would be right.

Visual distraction entails anything that takes your eyes and focus away from the road. Common visual distractions include staring at billboards, rubbernecking, reading emails and texts, checking the navigation system, browsing your playlist, or adjusting your GPS.

Unfortunately, taking your eyes off the road even for a second is enough to cause a catastrophic rear-end, sideswipe, or pedestrian collision.

3. Cognitive Distractions                                   

Cognitive distractions involve anything that can reduce your reaction time, impair your judgment, or reduce your brain activity while on the road.

These distractions are the most deceiving of the three types of distractions. Why? Well, to the outside world, they make you look like the most focused driver with both hands on the wheel, but, in reality, your mind is far away. Impaired cognitive functions coupled with high speeds are a perfect recipe for tragic road accidents.

The Hoffmann Law Firm Is Here to Help!

Have you been involved in a road accident caused by a distracted driver?  You don’t have to file and pursue your car accident injury claim alone. The Hoffmann Law Firm is here to help you.  Our highly experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys can evaluate your case for free and help you understand what your legal rights are.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Updated: November 30, 2021