Generally speaking, when someone mentions distracted driving, people think of someone using their cell phone. There are a great number of activities that encompass distracted driving. I have personally witnessed, now that school is back in session, how often people engage in activities that compromise the driver's ability to concentrate on the important task of operating a motor vehicle. This is especially true with newer drivers who might not understand the great risks that can result from distracted driving.
There are essentially three types of distractions that cause a motor vehicle operator to divert their attention from properly operating their motor vehicle.
1. Visual Distractions
Visual distractions are the most common type of behavior that leads to distracted driving. Basically stated, a visual distraction is anything that takes the driver's attention or eyes off the roadway. This is true even if it happens for a very short period of time. These types of distractions could include things as seemingly minor as looking for something in the car, attempting to change the radio station, looking at an accident or something else on the side of the roadway, checking your cell phone, looking at the console of the car, or any other minor act or activity that will divert your attention from the road.
2. Manual Distractions
Manual distractions are those that involve the driver taking their hands off the wheel. These are oftentimes done in combination with visual distractions. These things might include eating or drinking in your motor vehicle, grabbing something from the backseat, attempting to adjust the radio or other controls on the car, or picking up your cell phone to either answer a call or look at a text. Some of these things might seem quite natural but in actuality, they constitute distracted driving.
3. Cognitive Distractions
Cognitive distractions are those that keep a driver's mind from being focused on driving. There are many things that can cause you to have a cognitive distraction. You might be worried about some issue at work, you might have had a fight with a spouse or child and/or revisiting that your head, might be daydreaming, you might be driving to a destination that you visit on a daily basis and start operating on autopilot without paying attention to some alternative route which you might be taking, you could be listening to the radio or a book on tape and become distracted for a short enough period of time that can cause an accident.
Curbing the Epidemic
Being aware of the different types of distractions and understanding how they might cause an accident are the first steps in helping to reduce the epidemic of distracted driving. As parents, it is very important that we constantly reinforce with our teenage drivers the great need to be ever vigilant when operating our motor vehicles. One of the best ways we can do this is to set a good example and not engage in these distracted driving techniques that our children witness and later copy. Every single distracted driving accident can be avoided. Please be ever mindful of how important it is to operate a motor vehicle with the least amount of distractions possible.
A Lawyer Can Help
If you or someone you know has been involved in some type of accident caused by a distracted driver then you should contact one of our experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers. After evaluating your case, we will tell you what you should be doing and what you should not be doing. The consultation is free and all accident and injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis which means that we advance the costs to develop your case. You do not have to pay any money unless or until your case is resolved.
Please be careful out there and share this valuable information with your friends and loved ones.