Cautious drivers watch other motorists for signs of distracted driving. For example, when you see a nearby driver looking at a device or adjusting the radio, you know to be extra careful. Unfortunately, some distractions are less easy to notice.
Cognitive or mental distractions occur without warning signs, which put motorists in North Carolina at risk of car accidents and injuries. Although these distractions are hard to measure, it is still wise to learn about them for your own safety.
Three examples of cognitive distractions
Cognitive distractions occur when motorists take their minds away from the act of driving. In many cases, this happens subconsciously, meaning that drivers may not realize their attention has wandered. Common examples of cognitive distractions behind the wheel include:
- Daydreams: Rarely do people think only about driving when they take to the road. Their minds may begin thinking about the workday ahead or their kids, for example.
- Conversations: When carrying passengers, motorists can become involved in discussions that steal their attention from the road or traffic. Even glancing at a passenger may distract a driver long enough to crash.
- Anger (road rage): Just about everyone encounters reckless motorists that make them angry. However, the madder someone gets behind the wheel, the more their attention wavers from the act of driving.
As you can see, it is hard to spot someone experiencing cognitive distractions. Still, knowing such a problem exists may prompt you to pay better attention to other drivers.
Why is this important to know?
Knowing why car accidents occur improves your odds of avoiding them because you can adjust your behavior and avoid these kinds of cognitive traps.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop other drivers from making these kinds of mistakes. If you’re injured in a wreck with a distracted driver, you may have the right to ask for compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced attorney can help you.