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Cognitive distractions and motor vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Distracted driving can be a serious problem for Texas road users. There are three basic kinds of distractions. You can be visually distracted when you take your eyes off the road to look at your phone or anything else. A manual distraction occurs when you take your hands off the wheel. A cognitive distraction happens when you are not paying attention. Distractions can be one of these or a combination of two or all three, but the tricky thing about “zoning out” while driving is that it can seem as though you are being attentive even when you are not.

Inattention after conferencing

In fact, even if you are careful about not using your phone while driving, your electronic devices can keep you distracted. Root Insurance did a study in which over half of people surveyed said that video conferences prior to driving affected their concentration once they were behind the wheel. With video conferencing on the rise, this could account for the increase in traffic fatalities in 2020 despite the fact that people were generally driving fewer miles.

Checking devices

It can be hard for people to make the cognitive shift away from their devices in other ways as well. The study also found that more of half of respondents said they checked their phones in the first few minutes after they begin driving.

It is important for drivers to make a mental break between whatever activity they are involved in and getting in the car. Having your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road is not enough. You have to be mentally engaged as well. Distracted driving is the cause of many crashes each year, and a victim of such a motor vehicle accident could be entitled to compensation.