Luke Dow Law Firm

Austin Injury Lawyer Explains the 3 Categories of Driver Distractions

By Luke Dow on June 02, 2016

Defective auto parts, poor weather, drunk drivers – there are countless factors that can cause an accident. However, driver error contributes to more than 90 percent of all crashes, and many of these collisions involve distractions.


Two crashed cars close up

As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains, there are three types of driver distractions:

  1. Physical distractions;
  2. Mental distractions;
  3. And visual distractions.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to a distracted or negligent motorist, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is an accident attorney in Austin who can handle the legal side of your lawsuit so you can focus on recovery.

As the victim of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and noneconomic damages. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation. You can also learn more about injury claims in Texas by visiting

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

  1. Physical Distractions
Any occurrence that takes your hands off the wheel is a physical distraction. Examples include:
  • Texting;
  • Eating and drinking;
  • Smoking;
  • And adjusting the air conditioner.
You should never use a smartphone, eat or smoke behind the wheel. If you need to reach across the vehicle or adjust climate controls, ask a passenger to do it for you.
  1. Mental Distractions
Driving requires your full attention, and any occurrence that distracts your mind can be deadly. Examples of mental distractions include daydreaming, surfing the Web, and sending emails.

Drivers who are not alert behind the wheel may not notice hazards in time to react. You may be able to avoid mental distractions by getting plenty of sleep and turning off your smartphone before you hit the road.

  1. Visual Distractions
Any occurrence that causes you to take your eyes off the road is a visual distraction. You should never look at accident scenes or your smartphone while driving. According to the American Automobile Association, your risk of crashing doubles if you take your eyes off the road for two seconds or longer.

What to Do after a Crash with a Distracted Driver

Your top priority after any accident is to seek medical attention. Call the police immediately. They will contact the necessary emergency services, and an officer will compile a police report.

If possible, take photographs of the crash scene. Try to capture pictures that show the positions of vehicles, skid marks, injuries, property damage, the weather, and traffic signs. Use the timestamp function on your phone to record the time and date.

Gather the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved. You should also record the contact details of eyewitnesses.

Visit a doctor as soon as possible. Then, contact an accident attorney to discuss your legal options.

If the crash happened in Texas, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is an Austin injury lawyer who can interview witnesses, structure your claim, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation.


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