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Distracted driving—is it only about cellphones and texting?

One of the main issues with texting while driving is that it requires all three major types of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. However, there is much more to distracted driving than sending and receiving text messages.

If you are the victim of an accident you believe was caused by a distracted driver, any information you can provide is sure to be helpful to your case. Distracted driving is not always about cellphone use.

Lap dogs and other distractions

How often do you see Fido poking his head out of the driver’s side window? Holding a pet while driving is not a good idea. Neither is eating, drinking, putting on makeup or combing your hair. Fiddling with the dashboard console, reaching for something that has fallen on the floor or turning around to look at what your child is doing in the back seat are all examples of distractions. An accident can easily happen within those few seconds when the driver’s focus is taken away from the road.

The main kinds of distraction

In the task of driving a vehicle, the operator faces three types of distraction:

  •         Manual, or taking hands off the steering wheel
  •         Visual, which involves taking the eyes off the road
  •         Cognitive, which refers to taking your mind off driving altogether

Once again, texting engages all three types of distraction, which is why it is so dangerous, but many activities involve at least two of the three.

Helping your cause

A personal injury attorney will tell you that any information you can gather following a car accident can be helpful in terms of the financial settlement to which you may be entitled from an insurance perspective. For example, if you should hear the other driver talk about having been distracted, report this to the attending law enforcement officer, who can follow up. California has tough distracted driving laws, and your attorney will see that you are able to take advantage of them.

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