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The Three Types of Distracted Driving

By Stewart J. Guss on December 27th, 2013

 We’ve written about distracted driving before on more than one occasion but let me reiterate: distracted driving is an extremely dangerous practice that causes serious motor vehicle accidents every day.  Distracted driving is considered to be participating in any activity while behind the wheel that takes your attention away from the act of driving your vehicle.  Though many people belief a momentary lapse in attention is harmless, statistics show otherwise.  According to, the government’s website dedicated to distracted driving, in 2012 alone, such practices contributed to accidents that killed 3,328 people and injured 421,000 more.  In Texas alone, authorities reported that driver distraction or inattention contributed to over 93,000 accidents and 408 deaths in 2012.

There are three main types of distracted behaviors.  These are:

  • Visual: Activities that take your eyes off of the road, such as checking on children in the backseat or looking at a GPS.  Also, of course, the big one – texting (more on this in a moment.)
  • Cognitive: Activities that take your mind off of driving, such as talking to a passenger, talking on a cell phone, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
  • Manual: Activities that take your hands off of the wheel, such as eating, grooming, or reaching for something in a purse or briefcase.

Some activities are especially dangerous because they combine two or three of the types of distractions.  The most common major distraction is texting, emailing, or otherwise reading or typing on a mobile device.  These types of texting activities take your eyes and mind off the road and yours hands off the wheel, all at the same time.  Experts estimate that if you read a text or email on the highway, you may drive the full length of a football field without looking at the road.

All drivers are required to drive in a reasonably careful manner in order to avoid harm to others.  When drivers participate in distracted driving behaviors, they are not meeting their duty to drive in a careful manner.  Especially when drivers text or use mobile devices, they are disregarding the safety of motorists around them.  If a distracted driver causes an accident, they may be found to be negligent and may be liable for any resulting damage or injuries.  Law enforcement personnel are now trained to investigate for the use of a mobile communication device when they investigate an accident.  These factors will show up in their police report and can come back to haunt the distracted driver in many different ways and venues – including in Court.

Contact a Houston personal injury attorney today for a free consultation.

Though most people know about the dangers of distracted driving, many drivers continue to participate in these dangerous activities while behind the wheel.  Houston personal injury attorney Stewart Guss cares about the victims of distracted driving accidents and has been representing victims in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Tomball, Spring, Cypress and throughout Texas for almost 20 years.  If you have been injured by someone that was texting and driving, or talking on a cell phone, call us today at 800-898-4877 today for a free consultation.  There is no charge for this phone call, and remember – if we don’t win your case, you will pay no fee.

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