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3 types of driver distraction and why they threaten your safety

Distraction is a threat to every Texas motorist, including you. Drivers who choose to participate in a distracting behavior can cause devastating harm, even in a matter of a few seconds of distraction.

Technically, distracted driving is any type of behavior that takes a driver's attention from the road and the obligation to drive safely. All forms of distraction fall into at least one of three main categories, and every form of distraction is preventable, negligent and dangerous for every person on the road.

What are the three main types of distracted driving?

As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving falls into these three categories:

  • Visual: Visual distraction includes anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road for any reason, for any amount of time. From reading a phone screen to looking at a billboard, a visual distraction can be incredibly dangerous.
  • Cognitive: Cognitive distraction happens when something takes a driver's mental focus from the task at hand. This can include using a hands-free device or simply driving while unfocused. Even with both hands on the wheel, a driver can be cognitively distracted.
  • Manual: Manual distraction includes any activity that takes driver's hands off the wheel. This may involve adjusting a radio, holding a phone, eating and more.

While people often associate phones and texting with distracted driving, in reality it can involve many different dangerous behaviors. However, texting is recognized as the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three forms of distraction: visual, cognitive and manual.

If you believe that a distracted driver is to blame for your accident, it is important to be aware of every available option for receiving all of the compensation to which you are entitled.

What are my rights?

If you suffered harm as the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal options. A lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company, build a strong case on your behalf, and help you get the compensation you need and deserve -- all while you focus on healing.

Keep in mind that the insurance company's initial settlement offer likely will not cover the full extent of the injury, so speak with a lawyer about getting the appropriate medical care and compensation you need. For more on these matters, please see our overview of Texas motor vehicle accidents.

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