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What are the different types of driving distractions?

Much has been made in recent years over the perceived prevalence of cell phone use behind the wheel, so much so that you may believe that to be the only type of driving distraction that can endanger you while traveling on Bridgeport’s roads. The truth is that there are many forms of distracted driving that are linked less to a specific activity than they are the manner in which one’s attention is drawn away from the road.

Information shared by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in conjunction with the Auto Alliance identifies three distinct types of driving distractions. They are defined as follows:

  •          Visual distractions: These are any activities that may force another to look away from the road in order to complete them.
  •          Manual distractions: A manual distraction is defined as an act which causes one to take his or her hands off of the steering wheel.
  •          Cognitive distractions: Any task that diverts a driver’s focus and attention from the road is deemed to be a cognitive distraction.

Thus, while talking on a cell phone or texting while driving both fall into these distraction categories, so too do a number of other activities, such as eating, drinking a beverage, applying makeup, or reading from a book or map. The trouble is that many do not recognize these as being potential distractions because they may view such activities as being so second nature that they require little to no thought.

If you have been involved in an accident with another, and you suspect distractions contributed to the crash, close attention should be paid for signs of them in the other driver’s vehicle. These may include food wrappers, open beverage containers, or reading materials on car seats or floors. 

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