Recently, this New Jersey based legal blog introduced readers to a local motor vehicle accident case where a sleeping driver caused a serious collision. Sleeping is an extreme form of distraction that can seriously impact a driver’s ability to safely operate their motor vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified three categories of driving distractions that can impact motorists and result in dangerous crashes. This post will discuss the three categories identified but readers are reminded to seek their own council on their personal injury claims. This post does not provide any legal advice.
Visual driving distractions
Visual driving distractions are distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road. In the modern world, cell phones and handheld devices are a common cause of visual driving distractions. Other objects that may cause visual driving distractions and accidents are maps, books, music systems, passengers, and roadway objects.
Manual driving distractions
Unlike visual driving distractions which take drivers eyes off the roads, manual driving distractions cause drivers to take their hands off the wheels of their vehicles. A driver may be manually distracted if they reach for something that they have dropped while they are driving. Manual driving distractions may also happen when drivers are eating or drinking, changing stations on their music systems, or holding other objects.
Cognitive driving distractions
Cognitive driving distractions affect the mind of a driver. They are the thoughts and concerns that cloud a driver’s thinking when their attention should be focused on the road before them. Worries about work or family, making plans, and daydreaming are all cognitive distractions that can put drivers at risk of causing serious motor vehicle accidents.
Driving distractions are dangerous. Some distractions fall into more than one of the categories mentioned but all distractions should be avoided by drivers when they choose to operate their motor vehicles. A victim who is injured and suffers losses in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver can choose to seek the counsel and support of a personal injury attorney to learn more about their possible legal claims.