Driver Inattention and Crashes

According to the DMV, 9 Americans die every day due to distracted driving. Clearly, it is one of the riskiest driving behaviors because it threatens the safety of all road users. In our post today, we’ll look at some common types of distractions, including a few you might not have thought of. Additionally, we’ll provide a few simple tips for how you can keep your focus on the road. 

Three Types of Distractions 

The DMV categorizes distractions three ways: 

  1. Visual. The most obvious type of a visual distraction is a cell phone. Texting is certainly an issue. But there are other types of visual distractions, too. For example, a radio station, GPS, or settings on your car’s dashboard. Sometimes, the distractions are outside your car. Anything from a pretty view to a flashy billboard can be a hazard if the driver keeps their eyes on it instead of the road. 
  2. Manual. Think of these distractions as things you may do with your hands that keep them off the wheel. Examples could include grooming, eating, or drinking coffee. 
  3. Cognitive. These are distractions that pull your mental energy away from the task of driving. These can be subtle, and not necessarily things that you would not immediately imagine are dangerous. For instance, a heated conversation with a passenger. Or being emotionally overwhelmed after a tough day at work. Or even daydreaming about your upcoming vacation. 
Sometimes, a distraction may overlap a couple of these categories. For instance, imagine you have an unresolved argument with your spouse. While driving, you see they’ve sent you an upsetting text (visual). At a red light, you pick it up to respond (manual). You are frustrated and angry (cognitive). 

Tips for Reducing Distractions 

The best way to reduce distractions while driving is to work to eliminate them before you get in the car. Here are a few ideas we brainstormed. What others could you add to our list? 

  • Take a few minutes to declutter your car – throw away trash, bring in kids’ school bags or mail. 
  • Use the “do not disturb” setting when your car is in motion. 
  • Set up hands free calling for your vehicle.
  • Place your phone in the trunk or glove box. 
  • If upset or stressed, take a few minutes to clear your head before getting in your car. 
  • Get up early enough to finish your personal grooming routine and breakfast before leaving. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep. 
  • Set up your GPS, favorite podcast, or radio station before you pull out of the driveway. 
  • Pull over if a conversation in your car becomes heated or upsetting. Or ask that the passenger wait until you’re parked to continue. 
  • Avoid giving small children distracting or noisy toys to play with while in the car. 

While this list can’t possibly eliminate every possible distraction you may encounter, it will curb a good many of them!

If You’ve been a Victim, Please Call Us 

If you’re finding this post because you’ve been in a crash that was caused by a distracted driver, we want to hear from you. 

As injury lawyers, we help people just like you every day with their accident claims. There’s no cost for an initial consultation and you’ll only pay us a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. 

Call us or fill out the short form on our website

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Angela Russell
Articles: 73

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