The Three Main Types of Distracted Driving

June 10, 2024

Distracted driving can be described as any activity that diverts your attention from the road, and it can be incredibly dangerous for all individuals on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving resulted in 3,308 fatalities in 2022 alone. While there are countless ways that you may become distracted while driving, they can be categorized into three main types – visual, manual, and cognitive. In this article, we will explore what the main types of distracted driving are and the impact of them.

Visual Distractions

The first main type of distracted driving is visual distractions. Essentially, anything that causes you to look away from the road is a visual distraction. This can include something as simple as looking away from the road to observe an accident scene or glancing down at your phone to see a notification. In order to drive safely, it is essential that your eyes are on the road at all times. Looking away for even a split second can cause you to veer off the road, crash into another vehicle or object on the road, or have a reduced amount of reaction time.

Manual Distractions

The second main type of distracted driving is manual distractions. These types of distractions include any activity that causes you to remove your hand(s) from the steering wheel. Being manually distracted while driving can be incredibly dangerous as it will likely cause you to veer off or swerve into another lane as your ability to control your vehicle is hindered. One of the most common types of manual distraction is eating or drinking while driving. Although it may be tempting to indulge in food while on a long road trip or quickly scarf down breakfast before work, this can be a fatal mistake. Another main type of manual distraction is using your phone while driving. This distraction not only diverts your attention visually but also manually. Not to mention, using your phone while driving is illegal. Other types of manual distractions include changing the radio station or temperature controls, digging around in your purse, or tending to your young child in the backseat of the car.

Cognitive Distractions

The third main type of distraction is cognitive distraction. This final type of distraction involves anything that takes your mind away from driving. This distraction differs from the other distractions in that it is not necessarily a distraction that can be observed, however, the repercussions of it can be equally as damaging. One commonly experienced type of cognitive distraction is if you are extremely stressed or anxious about something, so much so that you have recurring thoughts about the situation that inhibit your ability to think and concentrate on the task at hand.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are endless ways in which you can wind up being distracted on the road. Distracted driving poses a threat to all vehicles on the road and greatly increases the chances that you will be involved in a vehicle collision. In the event that you are injured in a vehicle collision caused by a distracted driver, it is important that you seek legal assistance from a New Haven injury lawyer who can protect your rights and ensure that you receive maximum compensation. Remember, next time you are on the road free yourself from all distractions, focus on driving, and stay safe!