When people hear the term distracted driving, most immediately think of someone using their phone behind the wheel. Phone use while driving is probably the most common distraction these days, but there are plenty of other ways that people put themselves and others in harm’s way.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual
  • Manual
  • Cognitive

What are visual distractions?

Visual distractions are anything that diverts the driver’s eyes away from the road. Sending messages or browsing applications on your phone would fall under this category.

What are manual distractions?

Manual distractions are things that take one or both of the driver’s hands off the wheel while the car is in motion. Such interferences could include looking for something in a bag, changing the radio station, or handing things to passengers in the backseat.

What are cognitive distractions?

Cognitive distractions are probably the least common. When was the last time you were so deep in thought you lost track of the road? However, it does happen and is still dangerous. Cognitive distractions could include experiencing extreme emotions, worrying, or even being tired.

How to avoid distractions while driving

Merely being aware of all the nuance there is to distractions on the road will help drivers avoid them. Drivers should take their duty of being present while driving seriously. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations says even taking your eyes off the road for five seconds at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football with your eyes closed.

Distracted driving needlessly leads to over 1,000 reported crashes every day. If you were involved in an accident with a negligent driver, an attorney could help you understand your legal options and seek justice for the damage they caused.