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The 3 categories of distracted driving

Distracted driving comes in many forms, with texting and talking on the phone among the most common. As a driver, it's important to avoid any type of distraction that takes your eyes and/or attention away from the road.

All types of distracted driving fit into one or more of these three categories:

  • Visual distraction: This occurs when you take your eyes off the road for any reason. For example, you may turn around to see what your children are doing in the backseat. Or maybe you look down to read a map. Keeping your eyes on the road ahead is imperative to your safety.
  • Cognitive distraction: Also known as mental distraction, this is when your mind isn't focused on the task at hand. Common examples include chatting with another passenger or thinking about a personal or work-related issue. Your mind must always be in the right place when driving.
  • Manual distraction: This happens when you take one or both hands off the wheel, such as to send a text message, grab a bite of food or adjust a vehicle control. Manual distractions are among the most common, especially as they relate to smartphone use.

Ways to avoid distracted driving

If you've had issues with distracted driving in the past, here are some tips you can follow to avoid the same in the future:

  • Turn off your cellphone and put it out of sight
  • If you must talk on the phone, use a hands-free device
  • Eat or drink before or after driving, not while your vehicle is in motion
  • Let your passengers know that you want to avoid distractions while driving
  • Program your vehicle's controls, such as the GPS, before hitting the road

When you do these things, you'll feel more comfortable with your ability to avoid all forms of distracted driving.

Unfortunately, there's still something to worry about: other drivers. As you make your way down the road, it's not uncommon to spot others who are not paying attention to the road.

If you're injured in a distracted driving accident, first receive medical treatment. Once you're stable and have a treatment plan in place, contact your insurance company, review the cause of the accident and decide how to best seek compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Visit our website for more information on distracted driving in Michigan and other common causes of motor vehicle accidents.

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