The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list three different types of driving distractions. The first two are fairly obvious to most people: Visual distractions and cognitive distractions.
If you are thinking about something else or daydreaming, you’re clearly not paying attention to the road. The same is true if you’re looking at a passenger or down at a cellphone, rather than at the road ahead of you.
But there’s another type of distraction that people sometimes engage in, not realizing how risky it is. This is known as a manual distraction. It may be important to understand that these physical distractions can still cause accidents:
How do they work?
Generally speaking, you’re supposed to hold the wheel with both hands for your entire drive. You may need to move a hand to manipulate the controls, such as turning on the blinker, but letting go for other reasons is seen as a distraction. It lowers the level of control that you have over the car and means that your reaction times may be a bit slower because you have to grab the wheel before you can react.
Texting and driving is an example of a manual distraction – although it is also a visual distraction and a cognitive one. A driver who is typing a text message has to do so by holding the phone and tapping out the letters.
Even someone who uses a talk-to-text feature still has to hold the phone in one hand as they speak to write their message. They often assume that this is safer, but it’s still a manual distraction and can lead to a crash.
Those who have been injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers may need to know about all the legal options at their disposal.