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What are the three types of distractions that affect drivers?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems in California that lead to serious accidents. There are certain types of distractions that you should beware of while driving. Being more aware can help you to prevent being personally affected by these types of distractions and avoid motor vehicle accidents from occurring.

How bad a problem is distracted driving?

Distracted driving can lead to motor vehicle accidents as quickly as every five seconds. Sadly, every 12 minutes, a person dies after being involved in a crash. Often, these accidents occur during daytime working hours.

In 2019, around 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Those crashes resulted from distracted driving.

There are three different types of distractions that occur while people are driving that account for 25% to 30% of all road accidents daily. Even the safest of drivers can suffer from some form of distraction behind the wheel. Seemingly mundane things such as fiddling with the car’s infotainment center or even carrying on a conversation can lead to distracted driving.

What are the three main types of distracted driving?

Any kind of activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road and their hand or hands off the steering wheel is considered to be a distraction. The Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV describes three main types of distracted driving that can easily lead to motor vehicle accidents. They include the following:

• Visual distractions: Visual distractions are those that cause a driver to divert their eyes from the road. Anything such as checking a text message, looking for an object, checking the GPS system, or adjusting the car’s controls can count as a visual distraction.
• Manual distractions: These types of distractions cause a driver to move their hand or hands from the steering wheel. This includes using your cell phone with your hands, eating, adjusting something on the infotainment center, or adjusting the rearview mirror.
• Cognitive distractions: These are the types of distractions that shift a driver’s concentration from driving and the road to something else. A driver can become cognitively distracted while engaged in a conversation, being under the influence, or even simply being sleepy.

How to avoid distracted driving

Avoiding distracted driving means avoiding potential motor vehicle accidents. The best thing you can do while driving is to stay completely focused at all times and keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

Avoid eating or smoking while driving, and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. If you’re on prescription medication that can cause drowsiness, avoid driving. Always set up your navigation system ahead of time when you’re going on a drive. Use the settings on your phone to prevent calls and texts from alerting you and keep your phone out of reach while driving.