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What are the different types of driving distractions?

Many in Seattle may mistakenly believe that “distracted driving” simply means texting while driving. In reality, distracted driving is more of a concept than a single action. It refers to any instance in which one’s full attention is not on the road. A breakdown of the different types of driving distractions may reveal to you just how likely it is that such actions caused the accident you were involved in

According to information compiled and shared through a collaboration between The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Auto Alliance, there are three types of driving distractions: 

  • Cognitive: Actions that take one’s attention away from the road
  • Manual: Actions that require one to take one (or both) hands off the steering wheel
  • Visual: Actions that take one’s eyes off the road

Texting while driving certainly meets this criteria: one must hold their phone, look down at it while typing, and concentrate on the message being sent. Talking on the phone while driving can also be distracting, even though one may do so while maintaining their vision on the road ahead. This highlights an important point: all three of the aforementioned elements do not need to be present in order for one to be distracted. In the case of talking on the phone, one has their eyes on the road, yet holding their phone could delay their reaction time in the event something occurs ahead of them that forces them to swerve. 

Another critical element to remember here is that, according to the criteria given above, many activities can cause distracted driving. Eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, reading directions or even having a conversation can cause distractions. Pay attention for indicators of such actions when trying to determine who may be liable for your accident.