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On Behalf of Hess Law LLC Sept. 9, 2022

The 3 Types of Driver Distraction

There are a few different ways to look at driver distraction. One tactic is to consider all of the specific distractions that drivers can face. This may include things like texting and driving, parents driving with children or commuters who are making phone calls and drinking coffee on the way to the office.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main categories that most distractions fit into. If you break things down into these categories, you can see exactly how they impact a person’s ability to drive.

Cognitive Distractions

We’ll start with cognitive distractions because these are often overlooked. But driving is a mental process, not just a physical one. When something takes your mind off of driving, that can be enough of a distraction to cause an accident. A good example of this is when someone is listening to a song on the radio, they begin singing along, and they stop paying as much attention to controlling the vehicle. Some drivers also just daydream or get lost in thought.

Visual Distractions

Secondly, drivers always need to have their eyes on the road. If they’re not looking at traffic ahead of them, they should be looking at one of the mirrors to check traffic around or behind them. Whenever a driver looks away, even if they’re just reading a billboard or a street sign, that can distract them from driving. This is especially problematic when drivers look down at the phone screen or backward at a passenger in the car.

Manual Distractions

Finally, you have manual distractions, which are physical distractions from driving. A good example of this is when someone drops their phone and then reaches to pick it up from between the seat and the car door. They may try to keep their eyes on the road as they do it, but they have to take at least one hand off of the wheel and shift in their seat. Other manual distractions include things like holding a phone to send a text message or even adjusting the mirrors.

If you get involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you need to know if you can seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.


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