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Types of distracted driving

Karns & Kerrison

While most people in Rhode Island realize that they are supposed to avoid distracted driving, many do not understand what qualifies in this category. In fact, the various types of distractions have proved dangerous for the 1,161 people that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports are involved in inattentive driving accidents each day in the United States. For another eight people, the results are deadly.

While any drivers are susceptible to distraction, studies show that drivers who are under 20 years old are the most common group involved in this type of accident. In fact, 40 percent of high school student drivers were reported to have sent at least one email or text message from behind the wheel. If the vehicle was traveling at 55 miles per hour, that would be enough time to completely cross a football field before looking up again.

There are three different types of distraction, according to Esurance. Some activities use more than one type, while others are easily done while maintaining the other types of focus. The first is manual, or the act of removing hands from the wheel to do something. This could mean picking something off the floor or handing things to people in the back seat.

The next type of distraction is cognitive, or anything that places mental focus anywhere other than on the road. This can often happen when drivers try to listen to music, podcasts or other passengers.

The final type of distraction is visual. When a driver removes his or her eyes from the road, they are participating in visual distraction. This can happen when drivers look down at a newspaper or stare at something on the side of the road.

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