The 3 types of distractions that drivers engage in

by | Jan 16, 2015

Although talking or texting on a cellular device may be one of the most common forms of distracted driving, there are many other activities that drivers engage in that can be considered distracting and dangerous as well. An auto collision accident involving distracted driving is a case that a Nashville car accident lawyer would be familiar with. All forms of distracted driving can be arranged into three main categories, according to These include:

  1. Visual distractions

Any activity that requires a driver to remove his or her eyes from the road is considered a visual distraction. This includes looking away from the road to adjust the radio, change a CD, dial a phone number, read a text or even search for an item in the glove compartment. A study performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that people who text and drive remove their eyes from the road for an average of five seconds. That is long enough for a car going 55 mph to travel the length of a football field.

  1. Manual distractions

Manually distractive tasks occur when a driver removes his or her hands off of the steering wheel. Whether drivers are reaching for their cellphones or eating, they do not have full control over their car because they are using their hands to do something else. Some other manual distractions include picking up items off of the floor, handing items to passengers in the backseat, drinking and updating social media profiles while driving.

  1. Cognitive distractions

A Nashville car accident lawyer knows that one of the most overlooked, yet deadly forms of driver interference are cognitive distractions. These distractions occur when motorists take their mental focus off of driving and attempt to multitask. According to studies evaluated by the National Safety Council, the human brain is incapable of multitasking, or effectively completing two complex tasks at once. Instead, the mind quickly switches back and forth from one task to the other. This leaves moments where the motorist isn’t concentrating on driving at all. It creates a sort of mental blindness where drivers are unable to process up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.

Many distracted driving tasks can be categorized into more than one form of distraction. Texting and talking on a cellphone is considered especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that when drivers perform manual-visual tasks, they are three times more likely to be involved in an auto collision.

People who have been involved in a distracted driving collision often turn to an established Nashville car accident lawyer for legal assistance and to receive compensation for their injuries, lost wages and property damage.