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What are the most common types of distracted driving?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2022 | Personal Injury

Distracted driving refers to operating a vehicle while doing any activity that prevents the driver from focusing on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about eight people die each day as a result of distracted driving.

Understanding the most common types of distractions can help motorists maintain focus on the road.

3 types of distractions

There are three primary types of distractions that can affect drivers:

  • Visual: when drivers take their eyes away from the road
  • Manual: when motorists take their hands off of the steering wheel
  • Cognitive: when drivers allow their mental focus to drift

Distracting activities can often affect drivers in more than one way. For example, when drivers change the radio station, they must turn their eyes from the road and take a hand off the wheel. This causes both a visual and manual distraction.

Common distracting activities

Among the most common and most dangerous distractions is using a mobile device while operating a vehicle. The CDC reports that sending a text while driving at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with closed eyes.

Other common distractions include changing the entertainment system, adjusting the climate control, talking with or looking at passengers, eating and talking on the phone.

Motorists can take steps to ensure their focus stays on the task of driving and prevent a collision. Turning off cellphones, setting expectations with passengers and adjusting climate control settings before driving are all important ways to prevent distractions while driving.