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Are all driving distractions the same?

With the widespread prevalence of cellphones that everyone has with them at all times, the topic of distracted driving is a familiar one. However, distracted driving is not a new problem. In fact, you and other Pennsylvania drivers may be interested to learn that dangerous driving distractions have been around for as long as motorized vehicles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have outlined three main types of distractions that, when you combine them with driving, can turn deadly. These include the following:

  • Visual – takes the driver’s eyes off the road
  • Manual – involves the driver’s hands or other body parts necessary to operate the vehicle
  • Cognitive – takes the driver’s mental attention off the task of driving

How do drivers get distracted in these ways, you may wonder? You may be visually distracted driving past an accident. If you take your hands off the wheel to reach for an item in the back seat, you become manually distracted. A cognitive distraction can involve daydreaming or arguing with someone in the car.

Texting and driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of driving distractions – visual as you read or compose a text, manual as your hands are operating your phone and cognitive as your mind is preoccupied with texting and not driving.

Someone who is texting and driving or otherwise distracted can cause a serious accident as you are stopped at a red light, driving through an intersection, going down the freeway or any other time you are in a car. You may be eligible for compensation if you are injured by a distracted driver.

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