Next time you look over at a stoplight and see someone sitting on their phone, take a moment to think about just how distracted that driver is. Keep your distance. Distracted driving causes a lot of injuries and fatalities in accidents every year.
At the same time, it's wise to understand the three types of distraction, all of which are shown by texting and driving. They are:
- Manual distraction
- Visual distraction
- Cognitive distraction
Manual means not physically controlling the car as you drive, such as by taking a hand away from the steering wheel. Visual means not looking at the mirrors, the road or the traffic around the car. Cognitive means thinking about other things and letting your mind focus on other topics when it should focus on driving.
Texting is one of the worst offenses because, as noted, it does all of that at once. That texting driver is thinking about what they're reading or typing, or they are at least just thinking about the conversation. They're looking down -- the main evidence you see from your car -- so that they can look at the screen and not the road. They're holding the phone with at least one hand, meaning it is a distraction even if they are using the voice-to-text feature.
Certainly, texting isn't the only example of distraction on the road, but it's an easy one to understand because it happens so often. That means you face constant risks from distracted drivers, and you need to know if you have a right to compensation after an accident.