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Examining different forms of driving distractions

While you, like many, might consider drunk drivers to be the biggest threat to your safety on Bozeman’s roads, another safety risk that often goes overlooked is distracted drivers. When hearing the term “distracted driver,” you likely envision someone using talking on their cell phone or texting while driving. Many of those that we here at Cok Kinzler PLLP have worked with once shared the same assumption, only to later find out that there are several different forms of distracted driving.

Information shared though a collaborative effort between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance recognizes three forms of distractions that drivers face:

  •          Visual distractions
  •          Manual distractions
  •          Cognitive distractions

Visual distractions are anything that pulls your eyes away from the road. Cognitive distractions are similar, yet they divert your entire attention away. Manual distractions are any actions that force you to take your hands off of the steering wheel.

Another activity (aside from using a cell phone) which can cause all three forms of distraction is eating and drinking while driving. Unfortunately, few recognize this activity as being that great of a risk. Yet study data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 65 percent of near miss crashes involves people who were eating or drinking while driving.

How are you to know if the person with whom you were involved in a car accident might have been eating or drinking? Indicators such as food wrappers or drink bottles and cups of the floor or seats or his or her vehicle may be a good indication, as are fresh food stains on his or her hands or clothing.

You can find out more about the dangers posed by distracted drivers by searching through our site. 

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