Navigating Louisiana highways by motor vehicle can sometimes feel like a life-threatening experience, and for good reason — it can be just that. While you have no control over another driver’s actions, you can sometimes identify erratic vehicle movement that suggests there is a distracted driver at the wheel. In such cases, it’s always best to create as much distance between your vehicle and theirs as is safely possible. It is also good to be well-informed about the types of distraction that often lead to car accidents.
There are basically four main categories of driving distraction that carry the greatest risk of causing a car accident. You may even have experienced one or more of these distractions at one time or another while driving. They are not uncommon but can be deadly.
Manual driving distractions are likely to cause car accidents
The term “manual” refers to things you do using your hands, like driving. Anything compelling you to remove your hands from the steering wheel to do something else while you’re supposed to be driving is a manual distraction. It is one of the most frequent causes of car accidents in Louisiana and beyond. If even one hand is off the wheel, your reaction time slows down, such as if you must swiftly turn the wheel because an animal has entered your path or to avoid an obstacle on the road.
Car accidents often occur because of visual distractions as well
Just as manual distractions involve the hands, visual driving distractions involve your eyes. There’s only one thing you should be looking at while driving, and that’s the road. If a driver is looking around inside his or her vehicle or trying to see something on the roadside, he or she is placing everyone in the vicinity at risk for collision.
Cognitive distractions and auditory distractions place travelers at risk
The final two categories of driving distraction are cognitive and auditory, the latter having to do with sounds you hear or focus on while driving and the former having to do with thinking skills. Loud music, cell phone notifications, voices of vehicle occupants, voices on speaker over a phone, etc., all create sounds that can distract a driver.
Have you ever daydreamed while driving? This is a cognitive distraction. Following car accidents, drivers sometimes say they were “lost in thought” regarding events that took place prior to driving (ex., an argument with a spouse) or a grocery list or upcoming meeting at work. Cognitive and auditory distractions are often causal factors in motor vehicle collisions.
Was the driver who hit you distracted at the wheel?
When injuries occur in Louisiana car accidents caused by distracted drivers, those who have suffered damages may file a legal claim in civil court to seek restitution. To win such a case, a plaintiff must demonstrate that certain elements were present when the accident occurred. An experienced attorney can explain such elements in detail.