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Inattentive Driving: Manual Distraction

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To better understand what manual distractions are, let us present you this scenario:

You wake up ensconced in your bed, basking in the soft comforter grazing your skin, letting your body drown in the memory foam, your head buried by your soft pillows. You open your eyes and allow them to wander from the ceiling to the clock.

8:45 A.M.

A jolt of anxiety creeps up on your chest. You were supposed to have already left an hour ago to make it to work on time.

You scramble to get ready. You decide to skip breakfast and pack a granola bar. Then you run towards your car, your hair unkempt. You turn it on and drive off, brush at the ready. You comb your hair hastily with your right hand, the other on the steering wheel. You drop the hairbrush. With your eyes on the road, you reach down to the floor. You think that as long as you still see where you’re driving, nothing is going to happen. But amid your futile attempts to retrieve it, you lose control of the steering wheel and crash into the car on the other lane. What went wrong?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a driver is partaking in a manual distraction, one of three types of distracted driving, when they are “taking [their] hands off the wheel.” The driver — or rather, the inattentive driver — in the scenario above participated in a manual distraction the moment they drove off with their hairbrush on one hand. Some people have gotten by driving with one hand and start thinking that this is okay. But to ensure optimal driving safety, both hands should steer the car. Holding an object on one hand while the other is on the wheel still presents a driving risk no matter how safe it may seemingly be. As shown above, it could put you at risk of losing control of the vehicle.

Here are some more examples of manual distractions:

  1. Eating or holding your food
  2. Texting or holding your phone
  3. Actively drinking or holding a beverage of any kind
  4. Fiddling with the car radio
  5. Smoking or holding an e-cig
  6. And many more!

A lot of people engage in this type of distraction to save time and because it’s convenient. But nothing is worth risking the life of others as well as yours. To avoid falling victim to manual distractions, we encourage you to:

  1. Make sure to take care of time-sensitive tasks prior to driving
  2. Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or on “Airplane” mode
  3. Groom yourself before driving
  4. Create a playlist with your favorite songs so you lessen the need of “changing” what you’re listening to
  5. Keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times!

Three Types of Distracted Driving

However, manual distractions are only one part of inattentive driving. There are actually three types of distracted driving:

  • Manual Distraction
  • Visual Distraction
  • Cognitive Distraction

Call Omega Law Group

We at Omega Law Group are aware that you have tried your hardest to ensure your safety as well as the wellbeing of other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, other people may not be as mindful. In the event of an accident, you will want a team that will best cater to your legal needs. We are more than happy to carry this responsibility for you. Give us a call at (310) 446-8905 or peek through our Contact Us page and visit the nearest Omega Law office in your area!

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