Getting in a car accident because of someone else’s carelessness behind the wheel can be a tragic experience. But far too many drivers still choose to multitask behind the wheel.
In fact, distracted driving was the reason nearly 400,000 people were injured in car accidents across the country in 2015. Taking on any sort of task other than driving while behind the wheel is known as distracted driving.
Specifically, there are three types of activities that can take a driver’s attention away from the road:
- Visual distractions
The moment you decide to look at something else other than your windows or mirrors, you are engaging in a visual distraction. A lot of visual distractions already exist in vehicles, including radios, GPS devices and touch screens to control other car functions. Other examples include reading text messages, staring too closely at a billboard or looking at a passenger as you speak to them.
- Manual distractions
When you lift your hands off the wheel to do something else other than steer, this is known as a manual distraction. Using your cell phone to type or scroll through media is a common manual distraction. Drivers will often take their hands of the wheel are to eat a snack, groom themselves or try and shoo a fly away as well.
- Cognitive distractions
Sometimes there isn’t any specific activity that causes an interruption. Rather the attention a driver puts toward the road can shrink when they allow their mind to fill with other unrelated thoughts. Engaging in visual and manual distractions can sidetrack one’s mind. Simply daydreaming can be a distraction too.
Many people get into a routine of not pulling over to eat after picking up food at a drive thru or engaging in an in-depth conversation with whoever is in the car with them. However, it only takes a few seconds to cover the length of a football field while driving 55 MPH. Meaning if someone spends a little too long dipping their French fries in ketchup, they might miss an upcoming red light and crash into another vehicle.
It’s possible the driver that caused the accident and injuries you are now facing was driving while distracted. You can consult a personal injury lawyer to help you receive the compensation you need to get better.