Distracted driving has come to be synonymous with texting and driving. Although cellphone use is a factor in many cases of distracted driving, this is not the only type of distracted driving. Distracted driving behaviors include any instance in which a person is distracted from the task of driving — and the use of a cellphone may not necessarily be involved.
Visual, Manual, and Cognitive Distractions
Distracted driving can be described as visual, manual, or cognitive, or a combination of the three. Visual distractions include any behavior that takes your eyes away from the road, manual distractions include any behavior that takes your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions include any behavior that takes your mind away from what you are doing. Texting and driving is dangerous because it does all three of these things simultaneously. Other types of distracted driving can also include multiple levels of distraction and be just as dangerous as texting and driving.
Examples of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving includes any behavior that decreases your focus on driving, so there are many examples. Technically, anything you do while driving other than keeping your hands on the wheel and looking at the road ahead of you could be considered as distracted driving.
Of course, some types of distracted driving (such as adjusting controls in the car) cannot be avoided, and some behaviors are more dangerous than others. It is important to do whatever you can to avoid distractions while driving.
Some types of distracted driving that do not involve the use of a cellphone include:
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Adjusting the heat, air conditioner, windshield wipers, radio, and other controls
Applying makeup or brushing your hair
Picking up items in the seats or on the floor
Looking in the mirror
Distracted Driving Laws in California
Cellphone use behind the wheel is one of the only types of distracted driving that is explicitly outlawed in most of the country. Other types of distractions may not be specifically prohibited in the law, but can result in penalties in some states.
In California, the state law prohibits the handheld use of cellphones and similar devices while driving, for any purpose. Drivers cannot text, make calls, use navigation apps, take photos, or do anything else that requires the use of your hands while driving. Drivers are allowed to use hands-free capabilities while driving. Other distracted driving behaviors that do not involve cellphone use can be penalized with a reckless driving ticket or similar traffic violation.
The attorneys of Tedford & Associates can represent you if you have been injured in a car accident. We are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve.If you are interested in speaking with our legal team, send us a message or call (626) 325-0142 for a free consultation.