Understand The Types Of Distracted Driving

Law Blog

One driving law in many states that can be confusing is the distracted driving law. This is because it is often used as a catch-all for a variety of dangerous behaviors that occur behind the wheel. If you have been in an accident, you may be wondering if the other driver's actions count as distracted driving. The following list can help you determine if this is the case.

Radio fiddling

One common form of distracted driving is the result of the driver messing with the controls for their radio or stereo system. Whether they are adjusting the station or loading a new CD, this can take their attention away from the road. A similar action is to be fiddling with something else on the car, such as the climate control settings.

Device usage

Device usage includes all outside devices, including cell phones and GPS systems. In some states these fall under specific cell phone laws, while in others they are lumped under the distracted driving heading. Device usage can still be considered a distraction in violation of the law, even if the driver was using a hands-free device or headset.

Eating or drinking

Although not usually illegal, eating and drinking while driving can still be considered the cause of an accident under a distracted driving citation if the process of eating or drinking caused the driver to divert their attention from the road. This often happens when a driver is opening a package, spills something, or is looking at the food instead of the road.


Much like eating and drinking, smoking while driving isn't necessarily illegal, but it can lead to distraction. The smoke itself, either when it billows out of the mouth or if it's allowed to create a haze in the car, can affect visibility. Lighting a cigarette or disposing of one can also lead to distraction.

Hygiene related behaviors

The car is not the place to apply make-up, brush one's teeth, or pluck one's eyebrows, yet all of these hygiene behaviors and more have been done by certain drivers at times. Anything that causes a driver to look in a mirror for any reason other than checking traffic can be considered a distraction.

Other passengers

Naturally, drivers are going to talk and interact with other passengers in the car, but they must also carefully divide their attention so that most of it remains on the road. Unfortunately, it is common for passengers to cause a distraction, either on purpose or simply because the driver isn't paying proper attention to the traffic around them.

If you suspect your accident was the result of distracted driving, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.


30 August 2017

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