Identifying the Types of Distracted Driving

Every day thousands of drivers are involved in life altering car accidents. Automobile accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and it is likely you will be involved in at least one automobile accident in your lifetime. On average there are over 15,000 car wrecks every day in the United States. The leading cause? Distracted Driving.

These devastating accidents are often preventable, so it is important to know the different distractions that cause accidents. Traffic and safety experts classify the common types of distractions into three categories:

  • Manual – any distraction that involves moving your hands from the wheel and performing a different action is a manual distraction.
  • Visual – a visual distraction includes anything that involves taking your eyes off the roadway so you are looking at something else.
  • Cognitive – a distraction that takes your mind off of the road is a cognitive distraction. This is when you are thinking of things other than driving.

These actions may sound familiar, that’s because we’re all guilty of being distracted drivers. From changing the radio, to looking down to take a sip of your morning coffee, to using your car’s GPS system, and the biggest distraction of all: using a cell phone.

Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. When you’re texting and driving, you are 23 times more likely to be in an automobile accident. Why? Because you are engaging in all three types of distracted driving:

  • Manual – your hands are off the wheel typing the message
  • Visual – you’re looking down at the screen to see what you’re typing
  • Cognitive – you’re thinking about your text and not the road

Talking on the phone is just as dangerous – even with a hands-free or bluetooth device. Your mind is focused on the conversation – not on the road. A recent study by the University of Utah found that drivers are equally impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%.

Automobile accidents happen every day, but the leading cause is something avoidable. By practicing safe driving and avoiding distractions you can reduce your chances of being involved in an automobile accident. However, not all accidents are avoidable. If you’ve been involved in an accident and aren’t sure where to turn, the Lafayette auto accident attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat are here to help. We will be your biggest advocate and represent you with the dignity you deserve.

The circumstances of each case are different. Our firm cannot guarantee that in any situation, including the examples mentioned in this blog, are grounds for legal action until the circumstances surrounding that specific event have been reviewed by an attorney. To find out if an incident is grounds for a legal claim, please call us today at (337) 984-8020 or contact our office for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.