When you think of distracted driving, one thing typically comes to mind: cell phones. The dangers of texting while driving in Richmond (or anywhere else, for that matter), have been well-documented. Yet while the prevalence of texting from behind the wheel certainly deserves the attention it has been getting, it is by no means the only type of distraction that drivers engage in. Several other tasks (many of which appear to be seemingly mundane) can also pull one’s attention away from the road, making him or her (at that exact moment) a danger to you and other motorists.
The Auto Alliance (in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) has identified the three major types of distractions drivers experience. These include:
- Visual distractions: These are those activities which cause you to look away from the road.
- Cognitive distractions: These are any activities that divert your focus away from driving.
- Manual distractions: These include any actions which prompt you to take one or both hand off of the steering wheel.
Texting or talking on a cell phone can definitely introduce all three of these types of distractions to a singular moment, yet so too can activities like eating, drinking, checking a mirror, doing one’s makeup, or reaching to grab something on the seat, driver’s console or floor.
How are you to tell if one (or a combination of) these distractions contributed to your accident? Clues such as food wrappers or drink cups in a car may indicate the involvement of distractions, as would makeup or condiment stains on one’s clothing. Pay close attention to what one says he or she was doing immediately prior to the collision. While this should not be taken as legal advice, it may help in identifying who is liable for your car accident.