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Distracted driving isn't limited to texting

Have you ever sat in your car at a red light and worried that car coming up quickly behind you is going to stop as well? Do you regularly feel concern about other drivers not paying attention as they exit the freeway behind you? If you have been driving for any significant amount of time, you know these types of concerns are not unfounded. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. Even at low speeds, rear-end crashes can result in serious injuries for the victim.

In many cases, rear-end collisions occur because the driver at the rear is distracted. This does not necessarily mean that he or she was texting and driving even though, of course, smartphone usage is one of the most high-profile causes of distracted driving. Here are three types of distracted driving that can lead to a car wreck.

Visual distraction

Visual distraction may be the most common kind of distraction that causes a driver to lose focus. While this can include phone use, visual distractions can involve other activities. For example, looking down to adjust the radio or thermostat is a visual distraction that causes the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Even looking at something outside of the car, such as a sign on the side of the road, represents a serious, potentially dangerous distraction.

Manual distraction

Manual distraction can occur when a driver removes one or both hands from the steering wheel. In some cases, manual distractions can occur at the same time as visual distractions. For example, if you look down to grab your cup of coffee and one of your hands leaves the steering wheel, you have just given in to visual and manual distractions simultaneously.

Cognitive distraction

Cognitive distractions are those that cause your mind to wander. For instance, imagine you leave work, still highly focused on a lingering problem that you will have to tackle as soon as you clock in in the morning. The next thing you know, you are pulling into your driveway and have no clear memory of your commute home. When a driver's mind is wandering and focused on something other than the road, it can easily lead to a car accident.

While you could be avoiding the above distractions and prioritizing safe driving habits, not everyone on the road may be as dedicated as you. If you have been the victim of a distracted driver, you might be able to file a claim for your injuries and other damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

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Becker, Kellogg & Berry, P.C. - Fairfax Personal Injury Lawyer

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