The Types of Distracted Driving and How to Avoid Them
When you hear the term “distracted driving,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably texting while driving. While texting and driving is a very common form of distracted driving, there are actually three distinct categories of distracted driving – each of which could leave you liable in a vehicle collision in the state of California. As a driver, it is critical for you to understand what comprises distracted driving and how to avoid it.
Category one: Visual distraction
One of the most important things drivers must do is keep their eyes on the road. A visual distraction is anything inside or outside the vehicle that causes drivers to look away from the roadway, fail to use their mirrors, or make errors in observing the traffic around them. Common examples of visual distraction include:
- Looking at a passenger while driving
- Dropping your eyes to your cell phone in any way (texting, social media, etc.)
- Paying attention to an attraction outside of the vehicle rather than the road
- Putting your attention on a nearby accident
- Searching for an item within a purse or the vehicle
- Looking at your navigation system
Category two: Manual distraction
Manual distraction is any activity that takes your hands off the steering wheel, limiting your control of the vehicle. While many of these activities also take your eyes off the road, they form a distinct category of distractions that include:
- Eating or drinking
- Texting or tapping your cell phone
- Changing clothing
- Putting on makeup
- Dealing with your pet
- Changing your glasses
- Reaching for something from another seat
- Using your navigation system
Many accidents could be avoided by paying attention to the road ahead. Staying alert and ready to respond to sudden dangers or changes in the speed of traffic helps to keep you and your passengers safe. Having your hands on the wheel and your attention on the traffic around you can save your life, even if other drivers are operating vehicles recklessly.
Category three: Cognitive distraction
Cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off of driving. If you are mentally focused on something else, you can easily miss things on the road and fail to respond to dangers. Typical forms of cognitive distraction include:
- Having a heated discussion on the phone or with another passenger
- Thinking about work or personal matters
- Mulling on personal problems or stressful issues
If you are not mentally prepared to drive, you should wait until you are, or ask someone else to drive. Avoid intense or distracting phone calls, even if you are using a hands-free system.
How to avoid distracted driving
It is easy to avoid distracted driving if you keep your eyes, hands, and mind always focused on the road and controlling your vehicle. Even if the road is monotonous or you are worried about a personal or work issue, keep your safety and the safety of others at the top of your priorities – your life could depend on it.
What to do if you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover compensation from the responsible driver. At Aghabegian and Associates, PC, our top-flight Glendale personal injury attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of distracted driving accidents, and we are relentless in demanding fair compensation for the people we serve. Call us today at (818) 507-4311 for a free case evaluation.
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