Three Types of Distractions That Can Cause Car Accidents
When a driver takes their attention away from the task at hand, everyone is in danger. Not only are other motorists in danger, but pedestrians and bicyclists are also put at risk - and it is a big issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, around 3,450 people were killed in distraction-related accidents, or nine percent of all fatal accidents that year. Most of the conversation surrounding distracted driving focuses on cell phone usage, but many other things are actually included in the distracted driving conversation.
These type of distractions occur when a driver takes one or both hands off of the wheel for any reason. Even seemingly simple things like adjusting the air conditioner or turning up the music can distract you from actually driving. Examples of manual distractions include:
- Eating and drinking;
- Adjusting your seat;
- Changing the music; and
- Adjusting your mirrors.
These kinds of distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road. If you are looking anywhere else other than the road ahead of you, you are visually distracted. Visual distractions include:
- Checking or adjusting a GPS;
- Checking your cell phone;
- Looking at something on the side of the road;
- Looking for something in your purse or on the floor of your car; and
- Checking on your children in the back seat.
Looking at the road with your hands on the wheel is not enough - you also have to be mentally focused and thinking about what you are doing. Cognitive distractions occur when your mind is not focused on driving. Cognitive distractions can include:
- Thinking about personal problems, such as relationship issues or a problem at work;
- Thinking about upcoming events;
- Listening intently to the radio;
- Talking to another person inside the car; and
- Talking on your cell phone.
The Dangers of Cell Phone Use
The reason why using your cell phone while you are driving is so dangerous is because it encompasses all three of these types of distractions. Using a cell phone while driving is a visual, manual and cognitive distraction that takes all of your focus away from what you should be focusing on.
Consult with a San Jose Car Accident Lawyer
Injuries from a car accident can be drastic and life-changing if they are severe enough. If you were in a car accident involving a distracted driver, that driver acted in a negligent manner and you may be entitled to compensation. To help you best approach your case, you should get help from a San Jose car accident attorney. Janoff Law can look over your case and guide you toward the right course of action in pursuing compensation. To set up a consultation, call the office at 408-286-2300 today.