One of the most common factors in highway deaths and serious injuries in Alabama is distracted driving. Studies indicated that distracted driving plays a role in about 25% to 30% of all motor vehicle accidents, with many occurring during the day, affecting companies whose employees must drive for a living.

What are the types of distracted driving?

Any type of activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road to cause motor vehicle accidents may be considered distracted driving. Most distracted driving factors fall into three main types: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road and include activities like searching for items in your vehicle, looking at your navigation system, or searching for various controls on the steering wheel or dashboard. Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel to eat, drink, smoke, or do some other activity where you need at least one hand.

Cognitive distractions encompass a broad range of activities and include something as simple as talking to other passengers. Drowsy driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also fall under this category. Talking on cell phones and texting while driving are two of the most common and most dangerous types of distracted driving as they encompass all three categories.

Avoiding distractions can help avoid crashes

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration indicates that companies spend millions annually on expenses involving medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. What’s more, victims of distracted driving accidents can sue companies when their employees cause accidents because of their in-cabin activities behind the wheel.

While the driver has the first line of responsibility to not engage in distracted driving behaviors, the company shares responsibility, especially if they don’t establish and enforce a distracted driving policy for their employees.