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3 cognitive distractions drivers should know

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Car Accidents

There are three types of distractions that drivers could face out there on the roads.

First is the physical distraction of something that requires you to take your hands from the wheel. Second, are the visual distractions. For example, a beautiful mountain that holds your gaze out the window. Thirdly are the cognitive distractions. While the other two tend to end quickly, these can last for a long time.

Many things cause all three types of distraction

Take the example of reading a text message on your phone. During that time, you experience:

  • Physical distraction: You take a hand from the wheel to open the message on your phone. If your hand is not in a holder, you may need to use your hand longer to hold the phone while you read.
  • Visual distraction: Even if you hold the phone up in front of your face,  you cannot look at the road while reading the text. You might think you can, but your eyes are actually flitting between the road and the screen. The more interesting the message, the harder it might be to drag your eyes away from the screen.
  • Cognitive distraction: While reading might seem automatic by now, your brain is actually interpreting the symbols on the screen to make words and sentences. The content will also provoke specific thoughts in your brain. For example, if it is a text from a credit card company, you may spend many seconds wondering how they got your number and how annoying it is to receive their message. 

Once you realize that most other drivers are distracted at some point during their drive, perhaps in one way, perhaps in all three, you will understand how important it is that you are not. Staying focused gives you the best chance of avoiding a crash. If one still happens, seek legal help to hold the driver responsible for your injuries.