Distractions during driving come in many forms, some of which are often unheard of. Almost everyone has heard of texting and driving, but not everyone realizes how intense arguments or loud conversations can also be distracting. Driving requires a lot of multi-tasking, especially during busy traffic hours at intersections. It only takes missing one key change on the road to lead to a serious car accident. If you suffered personal injuries from a car accident caused by a distracted driver, try talking to a Tennessee auto accident lawyer.
Main Types of Distracted Driving
Several types of distracted driving can be broken down into three main types that include visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual driving distractions are often obvious, like looking away from the road because of texting or messing with a GPS.
Almost any kind of electronic device can serve as a visual distraction from the road. Looking for something in the car or on the floor is another common example. This can lead drivers to miss other cars turning in front of them or last-minute sharp curves on the road.
Manual distractions involve any action that takes the hands off the steering wheel. This can mean taking one or both hands off the wheel to do something like type a text, change the coordinates on a GPS, eating, or trying to pick up something off the floor. Reaching behind the seat can also lead to accidents.
Cognitive distractions are things that distract the mind like having loud conversations or arguments with passengers in the car. Talking on the phone combines cognitive and manual distractions unless you have a phone built into your car or have the phone on speaker. Alcohol can impair cognitive functions, which tends to reduce reaction time and accuracy in driving.
Tennessee Distracted Driving Laws
Tennessee enforces hand-held and cellphone use . This means if you are caught holding and using a cell-phone while driving, an officer can pull you over and issue a ticket regardless of whether you violated any other traffic laws. The same goes for any kind of cell phone use while driving.
These laws apply for novice and intermediate drivers alike. Bus drivers and other drivers who work for institutions or businesses are included. This is done in response to all the deaths caused by texting and driving each year, not to mention all the serious injuries for those who survived the accidents.
Talking, texting, using an app, or pulling up the GPS on your phone all count as hand-held cellphone use. This is why sending that last text before you head off on the road or setting up the GPS ahead of time is important for avoiding a traffic ticket, or accident.