What are the 4 Types of Distractions When Driving?

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. Despite fairly stringent laws in California related to distracted driving, this type of behavior still causes plenty of accidents that lead to significant injuries and property damage. Here, we want to discuss the four types of distractions that drivers encounter on the roadway. It is important to understand these common distractions because just having this knowledge may help increase your safety when you are behind the wheel. When discussing the four types of distractions, we are going to specifically look at visual distractions, manual distractions, auditory distractions, and cognitive distractions.

Visual Distractions While Driving

Anytime a person takes their eyes off the roadway, they are placing themselves and others around them in danger. More and more, we are finding that drivers become visually distracted due to technological advances. Drivers have a hard time keeping their eyes off of their electronic devices. This is somewhat understandable, particularly because many of us conduct our daily lives through a phone. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that if a driver operating at 55 mph takes their eyes off the road to send or receive a text, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed.

Manual Distractions While Driving

When a person takes their hand off the wheel, this is considered a manual distraction. There are various reasons why a person would take their hands off the steering wheel when driving, including manipulating a mobile device. However, phones are not the only types of distractions that could take a person’s hand off the wheel. This type of distraction can also occur when a person adjusts the radio or the GPS, reaches for something in the other seat or in the back seat, reaches for food or drink, and more.

Auditory Distractions While Driving

Even though most people are accustomed to having the radio on in their vehicle, the reality is that noises can be distractions. Some people think that playing the radio will help keep them from becoming distracted, but this is not always the case. Loud or even catchy music can lead us to take our minds off of driving. Additionally, loud sounds inside the vehicle will keep us from hearing what is going on outside of the vehicle. This can be particularly dangerous, especially if there are emergency vehicles that need to get by. Even supposed hands-free phone calls can become a distraction if they take a person’s mind off of driving.

More and more, we are finding that drivers are using wireless earbuds while they are inside their vehicles. While these headphones do provide an excellent auditory experience, they should not be used while driving.

Cognitive Distractions While Driving

The last type of distraction we want to discuss is cognitive distraction. This has to do with any type of distraction that takes a person’s mind off of driving. What we often find is that cognitive distractions are caused by the other three types of distractions that we discussed above. When a person is behind the wheel, their focus needs to be on roadway safety and getting to their destination in one piece.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you need to speak to an Orange County car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the incident, determine whether or not the incident was caused by a distraction, and help their clients secure full compensation for their losses.