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Cellphones not the only cause of distraction for CT drivers

Although talking and texting on cellphone are dangerous forms of distracted driving, there are other distractive activities to avoid while driving as well.

Although many studies have shown that texting and talking on cellphones are some of the most distractive activities a motorist can engage in while driving, they are not the only distractions that can lead to devastating car accidents in Connecticut. In fact, there are many forms of distractions that can endanger the lives of drivers, their passengers and all other motorists on the road. Before climbing behind the wheel, motorists may want to take a moment to review the actual definition of distractive behaviors and gain a complete understanding of what they should avoid doing while operating a vehicle.

Distractions defined

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving occurs when a driver is engaged in any activity that removes his or her focus off of driving. There are three main forms of distraction, including manual, visual and cognitive. While manual distractions make the driver remove their hands from the steering wheel, visual distractions occur when the driver takes their eyes off of the road. Cognitive distractions come in to play when a driver's mind is diverted from the primary task of driving.

Distracted driving was responsible for killing 3,328 people in 2012 and injuring 421,000 others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many Americans are simply unable to stray away from their busy lives to focus solely on driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Distracted driving activities

Talking and texting on a cellular device involves all three types of distraction, making these activities some of the most dangerous to do while operating a vehicle. Distraction.gov, the U.S. government's official distracted driving website, mentions the following distracted activities:

  • Programming a navigational device
  • Reading
  • Grooming oneself in the mirror
  • Reaching to attend to passengers in the backseat
  • Carrying on a conversation with other passengers in the vehicle
  • Adjusting the entertainment center, radio or CD player

Picking up items off of the floor, smoking, eating and drinking are also forms of distracted driving.

Connecticut distracted driving laws

Connecticut enforces some of the strictest cellphone laws in the country, prohibiting the use of hand held cellular devices and texting while driving, according to distraction.gov. Hand held and hands free devices are also restricted for bus and novice drivers in the state. Although other distractions, such as checking one's teeth in the mirror or soothing a baby in the backseat are not illegal, they continue to endanger other people's lives.

Contact an attorney

Distracted driving accidents can be extremely destructive. Not only do they have the potential to cause severe bodily injuries, but they may be responsible for major property damage and emotional suffering as well. An established personal injury attorney may lend essential legal counsel to people who have been victimized by a distracted driver.

Keywords: texting, driving, accident, injury

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*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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