Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in New Jersey. People might believe that all distracted driving accidents are caused by a driver using their cell phones. But, there are several diverse ways for drivers to become distracted.
Types of distractions
Distracted driving is defined as anything that causes the driver to lose focus on what they’re doing. These can be visual distractions, manual distractions, or cognitive distractions.
Visual distractions are taking your eyes off the road and losing focus. This can be caused by a cell phone, another motor vehicle accident, or someone in the car. Visual distractions are just one type of distraction drivers must worry about.
Examples of manual distractions
Manual distractions involve anything that leads the driver to take their hands off the wheel. Unfortunately, taking your hands off the wheel can cause the car to drift into oncoming traffic or off the road.
A driver might be tempted to take their hands off the wheel to grab something in the car or grab something that fell onto the floor. A medical emergency also might cause the driver to let go of the steering wheel involuntarily.
Examples of cognitive distractions
A cognitive distraction is anything that causes the driver to think about something other than driving to the point where it becomes a hazard. This can be a song on the radio, passengers in the car, or even the driver daydreaming.
This type of distracted driving can be hazardous, as you can think you’re doing everything right. But when your mind is operating on autopilot, you’re slower to respond and less attentive to the things happening around you.
It’s common for these types of distracted driving to overlap. Therefore, drivers should be sure to limit distractions in the car while driving.