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10 of the most common forms of distracted driving

It's well documented that distracted driving increases the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident. Even with this in mind, some people never take the time to think twice about what they're doing when behind the wheel.

There are many forms of distracted driving, all of which you need to avoid. Here are the most common:

  • General distraction. This is when your mind wanders, such as thinking about what you'll do when you reach your destination.
  • Cellphone use. There are many ways to use a cellphone, none of which are a good idea when driving. From texting to talking to browsing social media, you should avoid cellphone use when operating a motor vehicle.
  • Outside event or person. There is always something going on outside your vehicle, such as someone walking down the street or an accident on the shoulder of the road.
  • Passengers. There is nothing wrong with conversing with passengers when driving, but you can't let this distract you from the task at hand.
  • Reaching for something in your vehicle. An example of this would be reaching for your cellphone in the glove box. Another example is searching for something your child has lost under your seat.
  • Drinking or eating. If you drink or eat when driving, you won't be able to keep both hands on the steering wheel. You may also take your eyes off the road.
  • Adjusting vehicle controls. This can include the radio, GPS and climate controls.
  • Using devices that operate your vehicle. For instance, you shouldn't adjust mirrors while driving.
  • Moving objects. If there is anything moving in your vehicle, like a pet or insect, you should pull to the side of the road to deal with it in the appropriate manner.
  • Smoking. It's not the most common reason for distracted driving, but it can come into play for anyone who lights up when behind the wheel.

When you look at this list, you may realize that you never partake in distracted driving. However, you shouldn't assume that every other driver is as safe as you. There will always be people who attempt to multi-task when driving.

If a distracted driver strikes your vehicle, check yourself for injuries and call 911. The responding officer can get to the bottom of what happened, while you receive treatment for your injuries.

If the other person was at fault, let your insurance company do their part while you learn more about protecting your legal rights.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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