What leads to distracted driving accidents?

People often get distracted very easily, especially while driving. As a result of this phenomenon, distracted driving is one of the primary causes of car accidents. Statistically, thousands of people suffer fatal accidents each year because of distracted drivers.

A distraction is anything that might take a driver’s attention away from the road. As such, there are three primary kinds of distractions:

  • Visual: anything that would cause a driver to look away from the road
  • Manual: anything that would lead a driver to take their hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: anything that would cause a driver’s mind to wander away from the task of driving

Some of the most dangerous causes of driver-related distractions involve all three primary distraction types.

Texting and driving

Virtually all American adults own cell phones. They’re great for keeping up with friends, focusing on work, keeping people occupied, tracking weather and news and ensuring people can stay safe in an emergency. However, just because phones have so many benefits, doesn’t mean that they’re beneficial when they’re used anywhere and everywhere.

Nearly a quarter of drivers admit to texting and driving or looking at their phones while they’re in traffic. Texting and driving is a major cause of distracted driving accidents. Not only do people frequently look away to text but they may also have to take their hands off the wheel to do so. Whatever information is contained within the text will take a driver’s mind off of the task of driving as well.

Eating and driving

Fast food is a cultural phenomenon. People often live a very short distance from fast-food restaurants, and their quick and easy service makes them accessible to virtually anyone – even drivers. Most fast-food restaurants provide drive-thru services, which is great for people who need a quick meal on the road.

While most people disregard fast food as dangerous, eating it while driving can lead to some major distractions. Opening a bag or wrapper, fishing out a meal and grabbing a drink, burger or fry are all kinds of ways a driver may become distracted.

If you end up in a car accident with a distracted driver, then you should be aware of your legal rights to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Simply because distracted driving is common doesn’t mean that engaging in distracted driving behaviors willfully is acceptable.