What is Distracted Driving?

Each year, thousands of people are injured and a lot more are killed due to car-related incidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving is increasingly becoming a major problem in the country. In fact, this problem is so biting that each day, 1,153 people are injured and 9 are killed in the U.S. because of it.

Attorneys at the Sampson Law Firm stated that a distracted driver behind the wheel is more prone to committing poor driving practices. These practices include speeding, failing to use signals when turning, not checking blind spots when merging or switching lanes, and not yielding the right-of-way to traffic on the intersecting road. These practices, unfortunately, may result in injurious, sometimes even fatal car crashes.

Distracted driving has three main types:

  • Visual distractions – Distractions that take the driver’s eyes off road. Sending texts and emails are examples of visual distractions. However, some visual distractions can be seen along the road. Attention-grabbing outdoor advertisements and road accidents are just some that could take your eyes off road.
  • Manual distractions – Manual distractions are those that take your hands off the wheel. Sending text messages and manually dialing a number on your mobile phone are examples of manual distractions. Because your hands are off the wheel, you are not able to respond quickly to traffic situations, making you at higher risk of accidents.
  • Cognitive distractions – These are distractions that take your mind off driving. When you compose an email or text message manually, you do not only take your eyes and your hands off driving; you are also disengaging your mind from the road.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 2011, almost one-fifth of car-related incidents in the U.S. were associated with distracted driving. This had prompted the Federal government to enact some measures to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. For instance, a 2011 ruling by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned the use of any hand-held mobile device among commercial drivers carrying hazardous materials.