Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


Know about distracted driving's triple threat

Distracted driving is the cause of many accidents throughout the country. Cellphones, radios, GPS, food and even kids in the back of the car can be huge distractions that take the focus of the driver off the road. Some may get away with driving distracted for a time, but in a split second the consequences can be deadly both for a driver who is not paying attention and those nearby.

There are three types of distracted driving that all drivers should know and try to avoid. Understanding these behaviors can help you both to avoid causing accidents and to stay away from drivers who are obviously distracted to protect yourself.

1. Visual distractions

Anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road is considered a visual distraction. You may be looking at the view or the wildlife on the side of the road, searching for lipgloss or piece of gum or just changing a radio station. 

If you need to look elsewhere, the best thing to do is pull over to find what you need. Set your temperature before you leave, have your radio stations ready and never drive when you cannot keep both eyes on the road.

2. Cognitive distractions

If your head is not on your driving, then you are cognitively distracted. A fight at home that left you upset, an incident at work or even a tense phone call can distract your mind from the road in front of you.

Try not to drive when you are upset or distracted. If you must, choose soothing music that calms you down rather than additional noise, news or books that could draw too much of your attention.

3. Manual distraction

If your hands are off the wheel, you are manually distracted. Helping kids in the backseat, eating or drinking, or even removing a jacket can be risky when you are operating a vehicle. If you must take your hands off the wheel, pull over first. It is not worth the time you save to cause an accident.

Many drivers are distracted in more than one way, and this can lead to accidents that seriously injure or kill others on the road. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you should meet with an attorney today.

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