Understanding the different areas of distracted driving

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | auto accidents |

Throughout Colorado, people who take to the road as drivers, passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians are aware of the dangers they may face. One of the most common is encountering a distracted driver. Motorists who are not paying attention to the road are more prone to causing a crash. In addition to knowing why drivers are distracted, there are other issues that should be considered.

There are three components of distracted driving

According to researchers who have examined distracted driving in great depth, there are three aspects of distracted driving. Understanding them can provide a window into why accidents occur. Visual distractions are when the driver removes their eyes from the road. That often involves cellphone use, but it can also be due to interacting with passengers, changing the radio, or programming a navigation app.

Manual distraction is if the driver does not hold onto the steering wheel. Driving safely requires dexterity and preparation. Making a quick turn is impossible if the driver is not gripping the wheel. The third type of distraction is cognitive. It is important to focus when operating a vehicle. Something as seemingly innocuous as talking to a passenger can remove vital cognitive attention and be the catalyst for a collision. Drowsy driving is also an example of being cognitively compromised and causes many motor vehicle accidents.

Even with cautious behavior, distracted driving accidents are possible

It has been estimated that there were more than 3,100 fatalities due to distracted driving in 2019. It contributes to up to 30% of all accidents. There are viable strategies to avoid distraction such as putting the cellphone out of reach, having the radio pre-set, and not eating when driving. Still, given the prevalence of distracted driving, even if people take these steps, there is a significant chance they will come across another driver who is distracted and have an accident.