Accidents caused by distracted driving are notoriously under-reported. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each day approximately nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured as the result of distracted driving. Anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving is a dangerous distraction. There are three distinct types of distracted driving.
A visual distraction is anything that causes you to physically take your eyes off the road. For example, a driver who turns away from the road to check a child’s seatbelt is visually distracted. Looking at your GPS device can also be a visual distraction. Visual distractions are particularly dangerous because if you are not looking at the road, then you are not aware of what’s happening around you. This can result in collisions with other vehicles or objects in the road. Taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while driving 55 mph hour is like driving blind for the length of a football field.
Manual distraction occurs when a driver removes one or both hands from the steering wheel. The most common example of manual distraction is eating or drinking while driving. Electronic devices can also cause manual distraction. If one hand is on a burger and not on the steering wheel, then you don’t have complete control of the vehicle. This can make it difficult to maneuver a car in a dangerous situation.
A cognitive or mental distraction is anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving. These types of distractions can range from talking to a passenger to listening to an engaging podcast. In addition, being preoccupied with personal or work-related matters can also cause a cognitive distraction. When your focus is taken away from the act of driving and your overall surroundings, things like reaction time and decision making can be affected. This can lead to serious accidents.
Texting While Driving
The act of texting while driving is unique because it involves all three types of distracted driving. You are visually distracted because you are looking at your phone and not at the road. You are manually distracted because one or both hands are on the phone and not on the steering wheel. You are cognitively distracted because you are focusing on the subject of the text messages and not on the task of driving. This makes texting while driving an incredibly dangerous activity.
Contact a Florida Accident Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you may want the help of a Florida accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has over 20 years of experience helping the injured. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.