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Distracted Driving Can Be Caused By More Than Texting While Driving

When most people think of distracted driving, they envision people talking or texting on their cell phones, or even doing their make-up and eating while driving. While these activities are a key part of distracted driving, there are other activities that can be just as distracting, if not more, such as talking to passengers or changing the radio station.

Types Of Distracted Driving

There are three main kinds of distractions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: visual, manual, and cognitive. With visual distractions, the driver takes his eyes off the road, and is therefore distracted. A driver taking his eyes off the road for a few seconds can cause an accident just as easily as one taking his eyes off the road for a longer time. Manual distraction occurs when a driver takes his hands off the steering wheel. Lastly, cognitive distraction occurs when the driver takes his mind off of driving.

Texting while driving is often cited as the largest cause of distracted driving, because it involves all three kinds of distractions. However, other activities can be just as dangerous. For example, a driver who is talking to his passengers while driving can become just as distracted as a cell phone user. This is because talking to a passenger causes a cognitive distraction, and depending on the nature of the conversation, it may even cause all three distractions, similar to cell phone use. A 2010 reportby the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited talking to passengers as being more distracting than cell phone use.

A driver’s emotional state can also be a source of distraction. When a driver is upset or even angry, his ability to effectively operate his vehicle is impaired. Angry drivers may be prone to drive more erratically, speed, and ignore traffic laws, all of which can cause a problem on the road.

Drivers who attempt to reduce other distracting activities by using their vehicle’s information systems, for example, looking up directions or dialing telephone numbers, may not always reduce the level of their distraction. The amount of focus it takes to use these systems and others, such as hands-free devices, can cause a high level of cognitive distraction, and in some cases manual distraction.

This doesn’t mean that a driver should only operate their vehicle in complete silence, with no conversations or radio use to avoid all distractions. It simply means that drivers should be more mindful of the danger posed by conversations with passengers, their emotional states, and use of their vehicles’ information systems, and adjust their driving accordingly. Taking the proper steps to address these distractions may make a driver reassess the need to engage in most distracting tasks before driving, and avoid possibly causing accidents that could lead to injuries or death.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you were injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with the insurance companies and ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio car accident attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices for a complimentary consultation. Call us TODAY at (614) 467-8474.