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The 3 Forms of Distracted Driving & Tips to Avoid It

"the 3 forms of distracted friving and tips to avoid it" in text with a picture of a woman putting on lipstick in the mirror while driving

Distracted driving is not something to take lightly. A few short seconds of distraction is all it takes to cause car crashes, injuries, and even deaths. Unfortunately, people usually don’t think these crashes will happen to them, and they continue to use cell phones or allow themselves to get distracted by other things.

This is the truth: “During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving.” When drivers use their phones, they exponentially increase their chances of crashing. Driving 55 miles per hour while texting is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. The consequences of distracted driving are endless and should be taken quite seriously.

That said, there are more forms of distracted driving than just cell phone use. In recent years, organizations have focused on three main types of distracted driving.

The 3 Forms of Distracted Driving

Cognitive Distraction

This is a mental distraction—when the driver’s mind is not focused on the task at hand. A lot of crashes happen because the driver zones out or becomes lost in thought.


Listening to a podcast or thinking about work, family, or personal issues.

Manual Distraction

A manual distraction is when the driver takes their hands off the wheel for any reason. This is the most well-known form of distracted driving, and it can severely impact the driver’s reaction time to different scenarios.


Eating and drinking in the car, reaching for items in the car, adjusting the radio.

Visual Distraction

Taking your eyes off the road for any amount of time counts as a visual distraction.


Looking at billboards, checking kids’ seatbelts.

A lot of other distractions can combine several of the types of distractions. Texting and driving, for example, includes all three. If you find yourself the driver in a distracted driving crash, find yourself a West Linn criminal defense attorney who can help you in your reckless driving case. These cases should be taken seriously since distracted driving can lead to jail time. Here are a few tips to inhibit your distractions while driving.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

  • If you’re tired, pull off the road and stop driving.
  • Limit the level of activity within the car.
  • Eat before you start driving.
  • Use your cell phone for emergency purposes only, and pull to the side when doing so.
  • Just wait. Almost every task you may attempt to complete while driving can wait until you arrive at your destination.

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