Most people associate distracted driving with using a cell phone when behind the wheel, but it actually can happen in a variety of ways. In fact, distracted driving has been an issue long before cell phones went mainstream. Anything that takes your focus away from driving and the roadway in front of your vehicle is distracted driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of distracted driving. Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind away from driving. This can include many different activities. It includes being tired and anything that removes your mental focus from the roadway and puts it on something else. Not having cognitive focus means you may not react to what is going on in front of your vehicle, such as stop lights or a vehicle in your path.
The second type is visual distractions. This is anything that takes your eyes off the road. It could be something as simple as looking over to turn up the volume of the radio station. Removing your eyes from the road even for a few seconds can introduce serious potential for an accident.
The last distraction type is manual. This is when you remove your hands from the steering wheel. You should always have both hands on the wheel at all times to provide you with the best control over your vehicle. You may remove your hands to mess with the radio, roll down your window or do a range of other things. Generally, manual distractions come alongside either cognitive or visual distractions.