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Distracted driving: 3 main categories

Conversations about distracted driving often focus on specific activities. Using a cellphone behind the wheel is the most common. Experts warn that phones cause accidents and that people should never text and drive.

It is important to look at specific actions to be avoided, but it's also wise to remember that distracted driving is bigger than any one action or event. That's why it's so common. It happens in many ways and for many reasons. Even taking all cellphones out of cars would not entirely eliminate distracted driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the three general categories for distracted driving:

  • Manual
  • Visual
  • Cognitive

Visual is perhaps the one most people think of first. When you look at the phone, you are not looking at the road. You don't know what's happening ahead of you, and that can lead to an accident.

However, phones actually touch on all three areas. Carrying on a conversation requires cognitive involvement, so you're thinking about the text instead of about driving the car. Holding the phone requires you to let go of the wheel with one hand, so it's a manual issue, as well. Hands-free devices may be slightly safer, but they do not eliminate the cognitive distraction and they can come with their own set of issues.

As you can see, distractions are both common and deadly. If you get hit by a driver who is texting and driving or who is distracted for any other reason, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your costs.

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