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Distracted driving is more than just talking on a cellphone

Mississippi motorists likely know that distracted driving is wrong, but that may not stop them from doing it in some form. Many may think that distracted driving is confined to talking on the cellphone or texting while behind the wheel. If so, they would be wrong. It is anything that takes the driver's mind off the road.

In reality, there are actually three types of distracted driving: cognitive, visual and manual. Cognitive is when a motorist is thinking about something else, such as work or home issues, while driving. Visual distraction occurs when people take their eyes off the road, perhaps to adjust the radio or check the kids in the back seat. Manual distraction happens when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel, such as when eating. All three combine when motorists text and drive.

People who want to avoid distracted driving should turn off their cell phones and use a hands-free system only in emergencies. Children should be settled in before the driver starts the car. Hungry or thirsty drivers should eat or drink before or after the trip, not while they're driving. Finally, they should program the GPS before they begin to drive.

Distracted drivers were involved in thousands of motor vehicle accidents in 2013. These accidents resulted in at least 424,000 injuries and more than 3,000 fatalities. People who are injured in car accidents caused by distracted or otherwise negligent drivers may be eligible for compensation for their medical bills and other losses. They might want to have the help of an attorney when seeking a settlement offer from the at-fault motorist's insurance company.

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