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3 forms of driving distractions

If someone asked you for an example of a driving distraction, you would probably have a little difficulty naming different scenarios. One such example is someone could be changing the radio station when they drift over the centerline. Or, a driver could be sending a text message or talking to passengers in the car or even just listening to music while they recklessly drive.

All these things are distractions, but distraction itself can fit into three main categories. These are defined below by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here’s what you should know:

Cognitive distractions

First and foremost, you need to be mentally engaged with the act of driving. You need to be thinking about traffic ahead of you, about the road design and about the maneuvers you’re going to make. People who are mentally distracted may still appear to be driving safely, but they can cause accidents.

Physical distractions

A physical distraction is usually easier for an outsider to spot, because it means the person isn’t holding the wheel. An example could be if a child that is in the car dropped a toy and the parent reaches back to try to pick it up off of the floor.

Visual distractions

Finally, some distractions don’t take your hands off of the wheel or your mind off of the road, but they do mean that you’re just not looking where you should be. This could be simple, like looking for a street sign. Visual distractions also include things like looking down at a cellphone, reading a billboard, looking at a passenger while talking and much more.

If you’ve been hit by a distracted driver and suffered serious injuries, you may need to know what legal options you have.