The most common type of distraction that you see on the road is when a driver is looking down at his or her phone. They may be texting, watching a video, browsing social media or something else entirely, but they’re definitely not looking at the road. If you have ever had to honk at someone who didn’t move when a light turned green, this is probably what they were doing.
But it’s important to note that phone use is definitely not the only distraction. When you look at the CDC’s three main types of distraction, you can see that everyone is likely distracted at some point.
Breaking down these 3 categories
The three categories of distraction start with visual distractions. Looking down at a phone is certainly one example, but so is looking at a billboard or at another crash outside of the car. Even things inside the car can be an issue, such as the GPS. If you even look at a passenger while talking to them, that’s technically a distraction.
The second category is manual distractions. You’re supposed to have two hands on the wheel at all times. Any time spent with just one hand on the wheel is time spent driving while distracted. You could be changing the radio station or trying to pick up something on the floor. You may just be trying to adjust the mirrors. It’s still a distraction.
Finally, there are cognitive distractions. Drifting off in thought — a.k.a. daydreaming — is one of the most common ways that this happens. You’re not thinking about traffic or about driving. You could start thinking about work or your schedule or what you want to eat. Your mind is distracted, even if you’re looking at the road at the same time.
What if a distracted driver hits you?
As you can see, you may spend more time around distracted drivers than you realize. They can cause accidents, even if you avoid these distractions yourself. If you get injured, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.