Most people get their driver’s license between 14 and 16. In Pennsylvania, that age is 16. As we age, our lives fill up. As a teenager, you likely have a busy school, after school and social calendar. Once you reach college, the same still applies for many, but the responsibilities are a little laxer. Your desire to have a full social schedule may increase because college is your chance to be free without a curfew. 

As you graduate, or for some, this occurs right out of high school, you have to start a career and financially support yourself. This includes securing housing, an adequate amount of food, and paying your bills while also managing your work schedule and social calendar. If you have kids, you also have to manage most aspects of their lives. Add all of these responsibilities and what do you get? Distractions and a racing mind. Even the coolest heads are constantly in thought. 

As Americans, we are always on the move and trying to juggle a million responsibilities; thus, we are easily distracted. For drivers of all ages, distractions are an issue and occur in three different ways: visual, manual and cognitive.

Visual distractions can include: Looking at scenery or objects, your passengers, a navigation (GPS) device or app, or looking at your phone.

Manual distractions can include: texting, video chatting, talking on the phone, taking pictures, eating, drinking, smoking, sending emails, adjusting the entertainment, taking off your coat, putting on makeup, grabbing something that your drooped or grabbing an item from your bag, purse or wallet.

Cognitive distractions can include: Having a conversation (even though the device is hands-free), disciplining the kids in the back seat, being lost in your thoughts, falling asleep or dozing off behind the wheel, video chatting, texting, emailing, talking to your passengers or listening to a podcast or audiobook.

Pointing out all of these distractions isn’t to say that you should avoid all of them because that is unreasonable and unachievable. We all have to keep our lives afloat and multitask, but some actions on these lists, like texting, emailing and video chatting, distract us in all three manners. 

Road safety is important. Even so, distracted and aggressive driving (even inadvertently) occurs and leads to severe injuries and fatalities. It would be wise to consider seeking personal injury representation if you were injured by a distracted driver.