While cars are a major part of our lives today, there are significant risks that come with the convenience of motor vehicles. According to the most recent car accident statistics, distracted driving killed 2,841 people in 2018. Defined as any activity that takes away your attention from driving, distracted driving itself is completely avoidable. A Santa Ana distracted driving lawyer states that “When a distracted driver is involved in non-driving activities, they often operate their vehicles without noticing what’s going on right in front of them.” It’s important to understand the behaviors that contribute to these accidents. Learn more about the four main distractions that cause a car accident here.

Visual Distractions: A visual distraction is anything that makes you take your eyes off the road. From looking at your phone to check a text or trying to read a sign on the side of the road while you’re traveling at a high speed, these can result in a serious accident that seemingly happens in the blink of an eye. To prevent this, place your cell phone in the back seat, secure any boxes or bags and keep reading materials out of reach. 

Auditory Distractions: These types of distractions are sounds and noises that take the driver’s attention away from the road. This could be something as simple as a startling noise on the radio to loud sounds outside the car. To prevent these types of distractions, keep the radio off or low while driving and keep your eyes constantly scanning the road in front of you. 

Manual Distractions: A manual distraction occurs when you remove your hands from the wheel for any reason. This could happen if something shifts during a sharp turn or to change the radio station. Avoid this by securing all loose items before driving, waiting to eat until you get to your final destination and not fiddling with mirrors and other parts of the car. 

Cognitive Distractions: A cognitive distraction is defined as becoming distracted by your thoughts while driving. This can be anything from daydreaming to mentally planning out your day or rehashing past conversations. Find ways to focus on the road in front of you and not being swept up by chaotic thoughts. 

Distracted driving accidents are one of the most preventable types of car accidents, along with driving under the influence. Before you go for your next drive, take a moment to remember these 4 types of distractions and how to protect yourself from them. To learn more about distracted driving, visit the CDC website.