Texting and distracted driving, for many people, tend to go hand-in-hand. When they hear that a driver was distracted while causing an accident, they assume it means that driver was on their phone.
It’s clear that texting is a problem, and the surge in distracted driving accidents that happened after the invention of smartphones is why these two are often related. But it is inaccurate to assume that texting is the only cause.
What the CDC has to say
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have three different types of distraction that they focus on. These are:
Texting fits the bill for all three, which is why it is likely the biggest distraction, but there are many other ways that drivers can be dangerously distracted without checking every box.
For instance, someone may keep their eyes on the road and reach to pick up something a child dropped on the seat beside them. They may think they’re not distracted since they are looking at the road, but this is still at least a manual distraction since they had to let go of the wheel with one hand. It may also be a cognitive distraction if they’re thinking about picking up the item instead of driving.
Additionally, someone may drive home after getting fired from their job. They could have both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, but they may be thinking about what went wrong, how they’ll pay the bills, what to tell their spouse and much more. This is a cognitive distraction. Many drivers get lost in thought and cause accidents every year, even though they wouldn’t look distracted to anyone else.
All of these accidents can cause serious injuries
As you can see, distraction is hard to avoid. It’s more than just putting your phone down when you’re in the car. If another driver gets distracted and hits you, they may leave you with serious injuries and major medical bills. You need to know exactly what legal options you have.