Every time you drive somewhere, you put yourself at risk for involvement in a distracted driving accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the U.S., more than 1,000 people sustain injuries and nine people die in distracted driving accidents every day.
You may think that distracted and driving only refers to texting and driving or using your cellphone while you operate a vehicle. But there are three types of driver distraction, and a variety of activities fall under each category.
1. Visual distraction
This type of driver distraction happens when you stop looking at the road. For example, you become visually distracted when you look at your phone to get directions, search for a lost item on the passenger seat or look into your visor window to check your makeup.
2. Manual distraction
When you take your hands off of the steering wheel, you become manually distracted. Manual distraction occurs when you eat and drive, hold your cellphone to talk on the phone or switch the radio while your vehicle is in motion.
3. Cognitive distraction
When you stop focusing completely on driving, you experience cognitive distraction. You can become cognitively distracted when your mind wanders to what you have to do at work during your commute, for instance.
Although any type of driver distraction is dangerous, texting and driving is one the most hazardous to your safety and the safety of other drivers. This is because this activity combines cognitive, manual and visual driver distraction.