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Cognitive driving distractions and getting lost in thought

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Auto Accidents

Distracted driving is a multifaceted issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that drivers can face manual distractions, cognitive distractions and visual distractions. A significant part of the issue is that distraction comes from multiple sources and impacts drivers in various ways.

When looking at cognitive distractions in particular, they are problematic because they’re harder to identify. It’s easy to see if a driver is distracted when they are looking down at their phone or when they have taken their hands off of the wheel, for example. But what if that driver is just lost in thought?

A common and dangerous issue

One thing that many people don’t realize is that drivers becoming lost in thought is incredibly common. Some studies have listed it as a top cause of distracted driving accidents. They claim that drivers often allow their minds to wander behind the wheel, even when they are not actively distracted by a smartphone, a passenger or anything else.

And they may have a point. Most people can tell a story about driving to a location and realizing upon arrival that they don’t actually remember the trip. They just zoned out, perhaps because they drive on these familiar roads all the time. This makes them more complacent and it’s easier to get bored. Their mind wanders as it seeks out something more engaging. The person is still able to drive safely, but they realize after the fact that they weren’t paying attention.

Unfortunately, many drivers who are lost in thought do not drive safely and cause serious accidents. Those who have suffered injuries need to know how to seek financial compensation.