Every time you get in your car to drive, you are at risk of involvement in an injurious accident caused by a distracted driver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that in 2018 alone, 2,800 people died and an estimated 400,000 sustained injuries in car crashes related to distracted driving.
You may think that using your cellphone is the only type of dangerous driver distraction. But there are many other types, and they fall under the categories of cognitive, manual and visual distraction.
You become cognitively distracted when you stop focusing on driving from a cognitive standpoint. For example, if you focus on your podcast or a conversation with a passenger as you drive, you experience cognitive distraction.
Manual distraction occurs when you remove one or both of your hands off of the steering wheel as you drive, an activity that elevates your chance of getting into a car accident. For instance, if you use your hands to search for something on the floor underneath your seat as you try to drive, you are manually distracted.
When you stop looking at the road in front of you, you become visually distracted. For example, if you look at your cellphone or at a map to get directions when you drive, you become visually distracted.
Although any type of driver distraction is dangerous, texting and driving is the most hazardous. This is because it is one activity that combines cognitive, manual and visual distraction simultaneously.