In 2019, distracted drivers caused more than 3,000 deaths. Most of us will assume that distracted driving refers primarily to texting or using our cell phones. However, we will look at specific examples of potentially dangerous activities that might help you avoid traffic citations or worse.
#1. Visual Distractions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted this information about distracted driving on its website:
“At 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Hands on the wheel.
Eyes on the road.”
However, the CDC goes on to note that anything “that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction.”
Specific examples of visual distractions include:
- Texting, of course
- Watching videos
- Children in the car
- Looking for items in the car
- Watching your GPS
- Accidents on the roadway
- Entertaining billboards
- Weather events
Some visual distractions are unavoidable. However, focusing on the road saves lives.
#2. Manual Distracted Driving
Some distracted drivers don’t just look. They take one or both hands off the wheel while speeding down the highway.
Manual distractions include:
- Applying makeup
- Playing with electronics, including your phone
- Adjusting temperature controls or the radio
- Eating and drinking
- Caring for children
This type of distracted driving actually includes elements of visual distraction and cognitive distraction. For example, playing with electronics involves looking at the device (visual), searching or selecting items (manual), and thinking about what you want from the device (cognitive).
The distractions mentioned above might seem important at the moment. But keeping your hands on the wheel could keep you from becoming a statistic.
#3. Cognitive Distractions
It’s so important to keep your mind on your driving, but sometimes so difficult to do. Distracted driving accidents could occur because a driver “zones out” for a while. Some specific cognitive distractions include:
- Thinking of an exciting event, like a baseball game you’re listening to while you drive
- Remembering an upsetting event, like a family emergency or death in the family
- Listening to loud music
- Talking to passengers
- Being sleep deprived
- Taking medications that make you drowsy
This might be the most difficult type of distracted driving to avoid. It’s tough to keep your mind on your driving at night, after an upsetting event, or when the road is particularly boring.
Distracted Driving Can Lead to Traffic Citations
Attorney Leslie Craft has the experience you need to deal with traffic violations. Ms. Craft’s goal is always to help her clients get past their legal problems and get on with their lives.
To schedule a free personal consultation, call Craft Law Offices at (252) 752-0297 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. My offices are located in Greenville, Morehead City, and Rocky Mount for your convenience. I also represent clients in surrounding Eastern North Carolina communities, including Warrenton, Elizabeth City, Roanoke Rapids, Goldsboro, and Jacksonville.