Editor’s note: This is our final blog in a four-part series about distracted driving.
Read the first part here, second part here or third part here.

woman having cognitive distractions while driving

Inattentive or distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. As previously discussed in this series, drivers are distracted visually, when they look at anything other than the road, or manually, when they take their hands off the wheel. In addition to these types of distractions, many car accidents are caused by what is known as cognitive or mental distractions. This is simply another way to describe lack of attention on the part of drivers. It basically means that the driver is not keeping his or her mind on the road. While a safe driver pays attention to the road, a cognitively distracted driver is not mentally focused on driving.

Failure to pay attention to the road amounts to putting others in danger. Cognitive distractions are extremely dangerous because drivers are not fully engaged in what is going on around them. For example, if someone driving at 55 mph and they take their attention off the road for just four seconds, they could travel the entire length of a football field without realizing what is before them. Anything could happen in that time.

What Are Types Of Cognitive Distractions?

texting while driving is among many cognitive distractionsMental distractions that cause a driver to take their focus away from the act of driving are cognitive distractions. Some of the most common forms of cognitive distractions while driving include:

  • Talking to a passenger.
  • Talking on a handheld cell phone.
  • Being preoccupied with personal, family or work issues.
  • Listening to an audio book, podcast or webinar.
  • Using a speech-to-text program to send messages.
  • Using voice commands to control the vehicle.

Who Is Responsible For A Distracted Driving Accident?

cognitive distractions related car accident

After a car accident, a person could be held responsible if they did not exercise care that a reasonably cautious person would have in such circumstances. So, if a driver caused a car accident due to a cognitive distraction, he or she could be held responsible for the injuries, damages and losses that the car accident caused. An experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer would be able to evaluate evidence such as police reports, eyewitness testimony and cell phone records to determine whether an accident was the result of distracted driving. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation.

Speak With A Car Accident Lawyer

victim of cognitive distractions meeting a personal injury lawyerIf you or someone you know has been injured by distracted driver, contact one of our experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out our contact form online.