When you think about distractions on the road, you probably think of distracting actions or situations, like eating behind the wheel or rubbernecking when an accident is visible. The more interesting thing to think about is why and how these situations cause distractions.

By understanding how a person is distracted, you can identify how dangerous certain distracted actions are. The three kinds of distractions include:

  • Visual
  • Manual
  • Cognitive

Visual distractions

Visual distractions take your eyes off what you’re doing. For example, looking at your radio or looking at a crash on the side of the road could be considered visual distractions.

Manual distractions

Manual distractions make you physically less able to drive your vehicle. They physically cause you to move your hands from wheel. Eating behind the wheel may be a good example of this type of distraction.

Cognitive distractions

Cognitive distractions take your mind off driving. Thinking about a fight you’ve had or thinking about work you need to get done might take your mind off the road and lead to a collision.

These three distractions can, and sometimes do, happen at the same time. One of the most dangerous distractive activities, texting, requires manual input, cognitive thought and for you to look at what you’re doing. Combined, you won’t be paying attention to the road and could easily end up involved in a collision.

All kinds of distractions are a problem for drivers. Whether those distractions are internal or external, the reality is that they put you at risk of serious injury. If you are hurt by someone who is distracted while driving, you are in the position to file a claim against them for the damages you’ve suffered.