When you get in your car to go somewhere, any activity that takes your full attention away from driving falls under the category of distracted driving. Driver distraction injures and kills many drivers, passengers and pedestrians every year in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the U.S., approximately eight people die every day in car accidents involving some sort of distraction. The CDC also states there are three primary types of distracted driving, which include cognitive, manual and visual distraction.
Cognitive distraction occurs when you stop thinking about driving while behind the wheel. For example, if you focus on a conversation with a passenger or get lost in your thoughts about the upcoming workday during your commute, you experience cognitive distraction.
When you take your hands off of the steering wheel, manual driver distraction happens. If, for instance, you try to hold food and eat or grab something off the passenger seat while you drive, you become manually distracted.
Any time you take your eyes off of the road in front of you, visual distraction occurs. Some examples of visual distraction include looking at a GPS device to get directions, looking down at your phone or looking at the radio in your car while you switch the station.
Although any type of driver distraction increases the likelihood of a car accident, texting and driving is the most dangerous type of distraction. This is because this activity is cognitively, manually and visually distracting.