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The impact of distraction on driver safety

Driving requires critical thinking, vigilance and timely response. People that engage in other activities while driving may unintentionally impair their ability to operate their vehicle safely.

When drivers recognize the dangers of distracted driving, they can better protect themselves from harm.

Types of distracted driving

Anything that draws a driver's attention away from the road is a distraction. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the three types of distracted driving include visual, cognitive and manual.

Cellphone use is arguably the most common form of distracted driving. Indeed, texting is a serious problem that can lead to speeding and an impaired ability to recognize other drivers, pedestrians, road signs and potential hazards. However, there are many other behaviors that also count as distractions including the following:

    • Eating
    • Conversing with passengers
    • Programming GPS coordinates
    • Listening to loud music
  • Reading road signs

Prevention and protection

People can avoid distracted driving with a few simple steps such as planning their route before they leave, keeping noise levels low and making a personal commitment to not text and drive. When people choose to maintain vigilance while driving, they can better protect themselves, their passengers and other motorists. They can also spread awareness and encourage others around them to adopt similar principles.

Even if people are careful, they may not have the chance to react if they encounter a distracted driver. However, if they have their full attention on the road, they may more effectively respond and potentially minimize injury if they crash. According to MSN, distractions cause an estimated 3,000 fatalities each year in the United States. If an accident with a distracted driver causes serious injuries or death, an attorney may help victims and their families to acquire compensation for damages and hardships incurred as a result.

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