Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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What should you know about distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a growing concern on roads. It refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving, encompassing a range of actions that can endanger a driver, passengers and others on the road. The fleeting nature of these distractions belies their potential to cause serious crashes.

Understanding the different types of distractions is crucial for drivers. There are three main categories: visual, manual and cognitive. Each type of distraction represents a unique way in which a driver’s focus can be pulled away from the task of driving.

Taking eyes off the road

Visual distractions occur when a driver looks away from the road. This could be due to checking a GPS device, looking at a street sign or turning to talk to passengers. Even glancing away for a few seconds can be dangerous. For instance, reading a text for five seconds while driving at 55 mph is akin to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Hands off the wheel

Manual distractions involve taking hands off the steering wheel. This might happen when eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or using a smartphone. These activities might seem insignificant, but they can significantly impair the driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle and respond to unexpected situations.

Mind off driving

Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. This can be due to daydreaming, stress, or engaging in a deep conversation. These distractions can be less obvious but are equally hazardous. They lead to a delay in reacting to road signs, signals, and movements of other vehicles.

Short distractions, lasting just a few seconds, can result in severe consequences. The risk of a crash increases significantly when a driver’s attention is diverted. Victims of these crashes should ensure they get medical care right away. They may file a compensation claim to help cover the expenses related to the crash, provided that they were not the ones at fault. The time to do this is limited by Wisconsin law, so victims should file their claims quickly after a wreck.

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