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3 types of distracted driving

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Car accidents happen for a number of reasons. One reason that is getting more and more attention, though, is distracted driving. According to National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 3,331 people were killed in car accidents that involved distracted driving in 2011. That's 10 percent of all crashes reported that year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are three types of distracted driving. Those are:

-- Cognitive: This type of distracted driving occurs when your mind no longer focuses on driving. For example, you may be thinking about the list of chores you have to do when you get home or about a meeting that happened at work.

-- Manual: This type of distracted driving occurs when your hands are doing something besides holding onto to the steering wheel. You might be changing the channel on the radio, reaching into the back seat or trying to eat.

-- Visual: This type of distracted driving occurs when you don't have your eyes on the road. You may be looking a map, in the backseat at your children or at an accident in another lane.

One of the reasons why texting while driving is so dangerous is because it uses all three types of distracted driving instead of just one. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported in a 2009 study that drivers who text are 23 times more likely to end up in a crash.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted one study where 90 percent of the adults who participated said they understood the danger of distractions by a cellphone; however, a full 35 percent said they had either received or sent a text message while driving during the previous 30 days.

Those who are involved in a Texas car accident caused by a distracted driver have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. An experienced Texas personal injury attorney can provide information to victims and their families about being compensated for their injuries and losses.

Source: End Distracted Driving, "Learn the Facts About Distracted Driving" Oct. 13, 2014

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