Distracted driving technically has far more than three different causes. Drinking a cup of coffee on your morning commute is a source of distraction, as it is talking on your cellphone. There are many different specific illustrations of how distraction happens.
But, on the whole, all of these illustrations can fit into three specific categories. As defined by the CDC, they are manual distractions, visual distractions and cognitive distractions.
Hands off of the wheel
Manual distractions refer to any scenario where at least one hand is taken off of the steering wheel. This means that something as simple as reaching to change the channel on the radio could be a manual distraction. So is holding a cellphone while you talk or write a text message.
Eyes off of the road
Next, you have visual distractions, which take your focus off of the street ahead of you. If you look over to talk to a passenger, for example, that’s a visual distraction. It could even be argued that something like reading a billboard is a driving distraction, regardless of how common this is.
Mind off of the task
Finally, perhaps the hardest distraction to avoid is cognitive, or mental. Just daydreaming means that you’ve taken your mind off of the task of driving the car. Mental distractions can cause accidents because they slow down your reaction times or lead to mistakes that you wouldn’t make if you were focused.
You can avoid all of these distractions and drive safely, but other drivers are very susceptible to them. If one of them injures you in an accident, you may need to know how to seek financial compensation.