When it comes to distracted driving, one of the most important things for Washington motorists to realize is that there are more ways to get a ticket than just with a cell phone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,161 people are injured and eight killed every day in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2013 alone, 3,154 people died because someone lost focus. There are three different types of distraction that drivers are susceptible to.
The first type of distraction is manual. Esurance.com states that drivers who use their hands to do anything except steer the wheel are subjecting to manual distraction. This can include performing actions related to driving, such as adjusting a GPS, or doing anything else. Grabbing something off the floor, out of a purse or from the glove box counts as manual distraction, as well as handing something to someone in the back seat.
Visual is another type of distraction. This takes place whenever the driver’s eyes look at anything besides the road. While some obvious forms of distraction include watching entertainment on electronic devices or reading a newspaper, there are also less blatant forms of visual distraction, such a checking that a child’s seat belt is done up or reading directions on a GPS.
The final form of distraction is cognitive. This type is less obvious since it can occur completely in the driver’s mind. Focusing on anything besides driving can lead to cognitive distraction. This can include listening to crying children, chatting passengers or pod casts. Music can also cause a loss of focus, as can stress, depression and illness.