What Are the 3 Categories of Driver Distractions? Detroit Car Accident Lawyer Explains

by | Jun 2, 2016 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

From drunk drivers to faulty parts and poor weather, there are countless factors that can contribute to car accidents. However, driver error causes the vast majority of crashes – and many of these wrecks involve distractions.

Two car crash accident on a road in city


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three categories of driver distractions:

  1. Visual;
  2. Manual;
  3. And cognitive.

If you were injured by a distracted or negligent driver in Michigan, contact Christopher Trainor & Associates. A personal-injury attorney in Detroit will evaluate your crash, gather evidence, and help you fight for the maximum compensation.

We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Call 1-800-961-8477 to schedule a free case evaluation.

Read on for a brief overview of the three categories of driver distractions:

  1. Visual Distractions

A visual distraction is any occurrence that takes your eyes off the road. Examples include billboards, accident scenes, and text messages. You should only take your eyes off the road ahead to check your blind spots and mirrors.

According to the American Automobile Association, any distraction that causes you to take your eyes off the road for two seconds or longer doubles your risk of crashing. Driving responsibly can help you avoid accidents – not to mention property damage, injuries, and potential lawsuits.

  1. Manual Distractions

A visual distraction is any occurrence that causes you to let go of the steering wheel. Examples include drinking and eating, using a smartphone, fiddling with climate and audio controls, and smoking a cigarette.

You should always keep both hands on the steering wheel. Never eat or drink behind the wheel, and turn your smartphone off before you start the engine. Adjust your climate and audio controls before you hit the road, and ask a passenger the change them if necessary.

  1. Cognitive Distractions

Any occurrence that takes your mind off the task of driving is a cognitive distraction. Examples include daydreaming, talking on the phone, and texting.

If you feel drowsy, ask if someone else can drive. You should never use a smartphone or another electronic device behind the wheel.

The Worst Distractions Inhibit Your Visual, Manual, and Cognitive Abilities Simultaneously

Although every driver distraction falls into one of these three categories, some fit into several of them – or all three. Texting is a prime example because it occupies your eyes, hands, and thoughts.

If you were injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care bills, and noneconomic damages. However, recovering compensation can be a legally complex process. The at-fault party may deny liability, or the insurance company might offer an unfair settlement.

A Detroit car accident lawyer from Christopher Trainor & Associates can help you navigate the claims process. Our firm has been representing the injured for more than 20 years. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-800-961-8477 to schedule a free case evaluation.


Cadillac, MI – Child Injured in Bicycle Crash at Granite & Laurel St

Cadillac, MI (June 3, 2023) - A 12-year-old boy was hurt while riding a bike in Cadillac on Friday night, June 2.  The fatal accident was reported at the corner of Granite and Laurel Street at around 6:40 p.m. The victim was traveling by bicycle when he was hit by a...

Algonac, MI – Debra Fox Killed in Boating Accident at Algonac Harbor Club

Algonac, MI (June 3, 2023) - A Clarkston woman was killed in a boating accident in Algonac over the weekend on Friday, May 26.  The deadly accident took place at the Algonac Harbor Club on M-29 near State Street. When emergency responders arrived, they found a 23-foot...

Imlay City, MI – Woman Killed, Man Hurt in Can-Am Spyder Motorcycle Crash on M-53

Imlay City, MI (June 3, 2023) - A woman was killed and a man injured following a crash involving two motorcycles in Imlay City on Sunday afternoon, May 28.  The fatal accident was reported on M-53 as the woman was riding a Can-Am Spyder three-wheeled motorcycle and...

Flint Twp, MI – Two Killed, One Hurt in Wrong-Way Crash at I-75 & Beecher Rd

Flint Twp, MI (June 3, 2023) - A head-on crash in Flint Township on Saturday, May 27, left two people dead and another in critical condition.  At around 10:35 p.m., two vehicles collided on Interstate 75 near Beecher Road. It was reported that a 43-year-old man from...

Holly Twp, MI – Burton Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash at Belford & Holly Rd

Holly Twp, MI (June 3, 2023) - On Monday, May 29, a motorcyclist was killed following a collision in Holly Township.  The deadly accident was reported at the intersection of Belford and Holly Roads early that morning. A 53-year-old Burton man was headed northbound on...

Gladwin, MI – Woman Hurt in Three-Vehicle Crash on M-61

Gladwin, MI (June 3, 2023) - A woman was injured after a pileup collision in the Gladwin area on Tuesday, May 23.  The accident was reported on M-61 that afternoon. Three vehicles reportedly collided at the scene. A woman was hurt in the crash, and she was treated at...

Kingsford, MI – Two Hurt after Car Crashes into Healthcare Building on Pyle Dr

Kingsford, MI (June 3, 2023) - Two people were injured after a vehicle crashed into a building on Pyle Drive in Kingsford on Thursday afternoon, June 1.  The accident occurred as a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria was traveling on the roadway and crashed into the Northpointe...

Walker, MI – Driver Seriously Hurt in Two-Car Crash at Elmridge Dr & 3 Mile Rd

Walker, MI (June 3, 2023) - Two people were injured after a two-vehicle collision in Walker on Wednesday, May 31.  The accient was reported at the intersection of Elmrige Drive and 3 Mile Road at around 8 a.m. A driver was making a left turn when they were hit by an...

Frenchtown Twp, MI – Monroe Man Dies in 18-Wheeler Crash at Telegraph & Newport Rd

Frenchtown Twp, MI (June 2, 2023) - On Monday, May 29, a Monroe man was killed after being hit by a semi-truck in Frenchtown Township.  The victim was riding a 1989 Honda Hurricane motorcycle when he was hit by a black 2020 Peterbilt tractor-trailer at the...

Gaines Twp, MI – Britt Bridge Killed in Motorcycle Accident at Morrish & Hill Rd

Gaines Twp, MI (June 2, 2023) - A crash involving a pickup truck and a motorcycle in Gaines Township resulted in the death of a Swartz Creek man on Saturday, May 27.  The deadly crash occurred at the corner of Morrish and Hill Roads at around 11 p.m. that night. It...