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An unfocused driver and the dangers of cognitive distraction

A distracted driver is always a dangerous driver. While many people think of cell phones and texting when they think of distracted driving, in reality, many different behaviors could distract a driver and increase the chance of an accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main categories for distraction. A Michigan driver who is engaging in any of these behaviors could endanger everyone around, even with both hands on the wheel. In many cases, victims of distracted driving have the right to seek compensation from the liable party for any damages suffered in an accident.

The types of distracted driving

Distracted driving involves much more than just texting or talking on the phone while driving. In fact, you may think that using a hands-free device is safer because it allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel, but in reality, it can be just as dangerous. An unfocused driver is still dangerous, and this type of distraction falls into one of the three main categories listed by the CDC, which are as follows:

  • Manual distraction: This occurs anytime a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel for any reason. This could be for adjusting the radio, eating and more.
  • Visual distraction: This happens when a driver is looking at something other than the road. This includes everything from reading a text to looking at a child in the backseat.
  • Cognitive distraction: This occurs when a driver mentally focuses on something other than driving, even with both hands on the wheel. This can include using a hands-free device, daydreaming or talking with a passenger.

Cognitive distraction is particularly deceiving because it may not look like a driver is distracted at all. In reality, anytime a driver is negligent in his or her responsibility to drive safely and attentively, it can have devastating consequences.

What are your rights as a victim?

While it is impossible to undo the damage caused by a distracted driving accident, you have the right to seek a fair recovery for your losses, injuries and pain and suffering. If you believe that distraction played a role in your motor vehicle accident, you may want to act quickly to protect your rights.

Through a civil claim, it may be possible to hold a cognitively distracted driver accountable for his or her negligent actions and the harm caused to you.

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