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Mental driving distractions are more serious than people realize

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Driving distractions come in many different forms, but people often spend most of their time thinking about physical or visual distractions. For instance, a driver who is gawking at another accident is visually distracted, while a driver who is holding their phone is physically distracted. These things certainly are a problem and they do cause accidents every day in the United States.

But the third category of distractions includes mental distractions. These are often overlooked and harder to identify, but they can be much more serious than people realize. They too can lead to severe accidents resulting in injuries and even death.

Getting lost in thought

For one example, some studies suggest that drivers cause accidents just because they get lost in thought. They may also say that their mind was wandering. They weren’t trying to do this or thinking about anything in particular. They just had a lot on their mind and they stopped thinking about driving, just operating the car on autopilot. Some people will even arrive at their destination and say that they can’t remember parts of the drive.

Distraction doesn’t end

Another example of mental distractions comes from studies involving cell phone use. What researchers found is that drivers are still distracted for around 27 seconds, even after they put the phone down. The visual and physical distractions may be gone, but that cognitive distraction remains for almost another half a minute.

Seeking compensation 

Have you suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver? You may be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost future earnings and more.