When a driver’s attention is drawn away from the imperative task of driving, they are distracted by a secondary activity:
- Manually taking your hands off the steering wheel, for example eating or tending to unsecured pets on the back seat
- Visually taking your eyes off the road, for example to check the GPS or gawk at an accident on the other side of the road
- Cognitively thinking about anything other than driving, even just daydreaming.
Distracted driving is extremely risky and puts everyone on the road in danger.
When we first opened our law firm in 1993, we often saw cases where a driver who was distracted by spilled coffee, kids screaming, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup, trying to get change for a toll caused an accident, etc.. Now, we often see drivers not using hand-free cell phones or Bluetooth, holding their phone to their heads or even texting while driving which causes another entire level of distraction leading to additional automobile crashes.
In fact, because texting requires manual, visual, and cognitive distraction, recent studies indicate that texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of distracted driving behaviours and at least as dangerous as driving under the influence.