Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents

Statistics pertaining to distracted driving in the United States are alarming. Everyday in the U.S., 8 people are killed, and nearly 1,200 more are injured in accidents caused by a distracted driver, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three Main Types of Distracted Driving

Law enforcement officials place incidents of distracted driving into three categories:

  • Visual
  • Manual
  • Cognitive

Visual distracted driving occurs when a motorist takes his or her eyes off of the road. Manual distracted driving generally involves a driver taking his or her hands off of the steering wheel. Finally, cognitive distracted driving occurs when a driver takes his or her mind off the task at hand. Oftentimes, all three types of distractions occur when a motorist causes an accident associated with distracted driving.

Texting and Driving

Today, texting and driving is considered to be one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents. In fact, this situation has become so commonplace that an increasing number of states have passed specific laws banning texting while driving.

A car moving at 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a football field during the amount of time a person is focused on texting. A tremendous amount can happen in that space.

Talking and Driving

A close second to texting and driving when it comes to the cause of accidents is talking while operating a car. Distracted accidents caused by talking can involve talking on a mobile device, as well as conversing with other passengers in a vehicle.

Eating and Drinking While Driving

Another common cause of distracted car accidents is eating and drinking while driving. Before the dawn of the digital communication age and the ubiquity of mobile devices, eating and drinking while driving was the most common cause of distracted driving accidents.


Using navigational devices represents another common distraction that gives rise to automobile accidents. This type of distraction has become more common in the recent years. Historically, when paper maps were the primary navigational resource, accidents caused by navigating were less commonplace.


Many individuals are surprised to learn that grooming actually represents one of the more common causes of distracted driving accidents. This can involve everything from applying makeup to a driver combing his or her hair.

Radio Use

One final common cause of distracted driving accidents is using the radio. For example, a driver fails to pay attention to driving while adjusting the station on the radio.

Compensation in a Distracted Driving Accident Case

The nature and extent of compensation in a distracted driving accident matter depends upon the specific facts and circumstances of the case. With that in mind, common types of compensation awarded in the aftermath of a distracted driving accident include:

  • pain and suffering
  • medical expenses
  • permanent injury
  • lost income
  • property damage

In addition to compensation for existing losses, an injured person may also be entitled to financial recovery for future losses as well. For example, after a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an injured person is likely to face ongoing medical care and treatment. Pain and suffering is not likely to abate for an extended period of time. A person may not be able to return to full time work for an extended period as well.

A skilled personal injury lawyer Washington DC trusts can assist an injured person in obtaining full compensation. Typically, a personal injury attorney charges no fee for an initial consultation.

logo_cohen-1Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into common causes of auto accidents.


For more information, or to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Wayne R. Cohen from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. today: