There are dozens of ways we get distracted on the road. Even those who claim themselves are the most competent drivers fall for a driving distraction now and again. The numerous distractions can be separated into three categories:

  • Visual: takes your eyes off the road
  • Manual: takes your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: takes your mind off of the task at hand

Category examples

Examples of visual distraction:

  • Looking at your GPS device
  • Looking at a notification, picture or watching a video or program on your phone
  • Looking at your passenger
  • Looking at the sites around you as you drive

Being visually distracted is extraordinarily common and probably the least potentially harmful category of the three if you don’t prolong your gaze. Most visual distractions only take up fractions of a second as our eyes are continually darting about 24 hours a day.

Examples of manual distractions:

  • Applying makeup
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Adjusting the radio or temperature in the car
  • Taking off a piece of clothing
  • Grabbing something from a purse, wallet, pocket or car storage

Examples of cognitive distractions:

  • Listening to an audiobook, podcast or song
  • Taking a phone call via a hands-free device
  • Being lost in thought
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Scolding a child in the back seat

The reason why there is so much focus on limiting phone use (texting, emailing, holding and talking on the phone) while driving is because those actions distract us visually, manually and cognitively. Getting where you need to be is important, but so is your safety on the road. Sometimes safety doesn’t come first, and vehicle crashes occur. If you end up being struck by a distracted driver and get injured, competent representation is vital to receiving the personal injury compensation you deserve.