Driving can often be your only chance at some alone time before heading into work or before you go home to take care of your family. As such, it often doubles as time for you to groove to your favorite tunes or return a friend’s call.
However, thinking twice about engaging in distractive activities while driving can help you stay safe. This is because anytime you do something that takes your focus away from driving, you may double your risk of crashing.
According to AAA, there are three main types of distractions that drivers participate in — visual, manual and cognitive.
- Visual: Visual distractions happen when drivers look at something other than the road, inside or outside of the vehicle
- Manual: A manual distraction requires a driver to take either or both of their hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Having thoughts that are unrelated to driving is known as a cognitive distraction
Sometimes the activities people engage in while driving can fall into multiple categories of distractions. For instance, if you are listening to music, you might look down and remove a hand from the wheel to put on a song or station you like. Then, once you select a song to your liking, you might sing along and lose track of the road ahead. Meaning, you are dividing your attention between three different avenues in addition to driving.
Since your car has a built-in radio or allows you to link up your phone to make hands-free calls and texts, you might think that multitasking while driving isn’t a problem. Unfortunately, car accidents can unfold in a matter of seconds. And the National Highway Traffic Safety reports that 2,841 people died in fatal crashes involving a distracted driver in 2018.
Although your intent isn’t to harm others when you turn the radio dials or make a phone call, these can be dangerous activities. But if you believe you’ve been part of an accident caused by an unaware driver, then you are deserving of damages to cover medical costs and destruction to your vehicle.