If You Do This Behind the Wheel, You’re Driving Distracted

Driver texting while driving

Distracted driving is a growing problem in America, taking over 37,000 lives in 2016 according to the NHTSA, but drivers can combat the problem by knowing the signs. Certain actions may seem benign to drivers, but actually create distractions. Las Vegas car accident attorneys have seen many accidents relating to specific behaviors that drivers need to watch for.

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are one of the most common types of distractions on the road. Anything that forces a driver to take their eyes off of the road is considered a visual distraction. This can include looking in the back seat to check on the kids, reading a billboard or looking behind to see other vehicles on the road. Las Vegas car accident attorneys know these are serious risks, as visual distractions can cause rear-end collisions.

Auditory Distractions

Sounds can also distract drivers. A strange noise from the engine or something on the radio can distract a driver. Crying or fighting children and even just conversations with other passengers can serve as distractions as well. Even though some of these noises cannot be avoided, they do divert the driver’s attention from the road. Many Las Vegas car accident attorneys see cases as a result.

Cognitive Distractions

Finally, cognitive distractions can be a risk of impaired driving, as many Las Vegas car accident attorneys know. When a driver’s mind wanders, the driver stops paying attention to road signs and signals or the other drivers sharing the road with them. While it may be hard to eliminate all cognitive distractions, drivers can focus on the road and what is happening around them to avoid unnecessary cognitive distractions.

Cell Phones Bring All Three Distractions

One of the most common visual distractions is a cellular phone. However, texting or posting to social media is not just a visual distraction. It also creates an auditory and a cognitive distraction, which is why the risk of a crash while texting is so high.

The University of Utah indicates that people are just as impaired when talking and texting while driving as someone who is driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent. It takes a driver an average of five seconds to send or read a text message. When driving at 55 mph, that is enough time for the driver to cover a football field. Las Vegas car accident attorneys deal with a lot of accidents that occurred due to texting while driving.