Some people automatically assume that distracted drivers are on a cellphone. While it is true that this is the cause of many distracted driving crashes, there are many other causes. It’s imperative that anyone who is driving understands that they must devote their full attention to driving.

There are three primary forms of distractions, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Actions of drivers can fall under one or more of these categories.

  • Cognitive distractions take the driver’s mind off driving.
  • Visual distractions take the driver’s eyes off the road.
  • Manual distractions take the driver’s hand off the steering wheel.

Cellphone usage involves all three of these types of distractions because the driver typically has to hold the phone, look at the phone and think about what’s happening on the phone. That’s manual, visual and cognitive distraction all in one fell swoop. Eating, drinking, looking at billboards, talking to passengers, changing climate control settings and personal grooming are also actions that can distract a driver.

It doesn’t take long for a driver to cause a crash. The average text takes five seconds to read or reply. In that five-second period, a vehicle can travel the full length of a regulation football field if it’s traveling at 55 miles per hour. That’s a considerable distance during which a wreck can occur.

Anyone who suffers harm in a distracted driving crash should seek medical care. This might be costly and could lead to time off work. Those individuals might opt to seek compensation from the negligent driver who tried to multitask. This might enable them to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and other financial impacts.