For years, it seemed as though the greatest threat that you faced on Los Angeles roads was from drunk drivers. With the advent of cell phone technology, an entirely new class of dangerous motorist was introduced: the distracted driver. Yet while cell phones have seemingly been portrayed as the only form of driver distraction, there are plenty of other things that people on the road can do to take their attention away where it should be and consequently put you and others at risk.

The Auto Alliance (working in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) recognizes three forms of driving distractions:

  •          Visual  
  •          Manual
  •          Cognitive

Visual distractions are anything that takes your eyes off the road ahead of you. Manual distractions are tasks that require you to take one (or sometimes both) of your hands off the wheel. Finally, cognitive distractions are the things which take your attention and focus away from the road while driving.

Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving certainly hits every one of these categories, yet so do so many other activities, such as eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, reading a map, or applying makeup. The trouble is that few people see those as distractions. That is likely due to the assumption that such tasks are seemingly second nature to some. However, when put under the proverbial microscope, these activities many not seem as mindless as you may think.

Further information shared by the AA-AAOS shows that those who do something as simple as eating and drinking while driving are almost 4 times as likely to be involved in an accident. Thus, if you are involved in a collision, you may want to have authorities check for signs of distractions in the responsible driver’s vehicle.