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Vehicle crashes and the three types of distracted driving

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that about nine people die and more than 1,000 suffer injuries every day in the U.S. due to distracted driving.

You may normally be a responsible driver, but distractions are everywhere. There are three types of distracted driving. Do any of the three sound familiar?

Visual

Visual distraction occurs either inside or outside your vehicle. Outside distractions range from staring at an accident at the side of the road or reading a billboard to searching for a street address or simply observing beautiful scenery. Distractions inside your vehicle include reading a text message or looking for an item that has fallen on the floor.

Manual

Manual distraction refers to taking your hands off the wheel for any reason: to eat or drink, smoke, reach for something in your car or adjust the radio.

Cognitive

Cognitive distraction means that your mind has wandered. This may involve listening to the radio, talking with your passengers or becoming lost in thought. If you are not fully focused on the task of driving, cognitive distraction might be the cause.

Any kind of activity

There are actions you have to take when driving, such as checking your rearview mirror. However, the experts who study vehicle crashes report that taking your attention away from the road for more than two seconds is dangerous. Any of the three types of distractive driving can cause life-changing injuries or death. While you cannot predict what another driver will do, remaining alert and keeping your eyes on the road will help you and your passengers enjoy a safe trip.