American Indian Owned Law Firm

Cognitive distractions can sneak up on you.

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2023 | Personal Injury

When drivers talk about avoiding distraction, they often mean keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. They know that they shouldn’t look down at a phone screen, for instance, or reach down to pick up something on the floor. They try to remain engaged with the process of driving the car.

This focus is wise and drivers should prioritize avoiding distraction. But it’s also important to note that cognitive distractions – or mental distractions – can sneak up on someone. Some drivers become distracted without even realizing what’s happening. Studies have found that daydreaming is one of the main reasons for car accidents, and it’s a very difficult issue to address. 

What is a cognitive distraction?

One issue with cognitive distractions, making them hard to avoid, is that there are many distractions that fit within this broad category. It generally just means that someone has become lost in thought and they are not thinking about driving the car. Their mind is wandering. They have “zoned out.”

One example of this is when people don’t remember the drive itself. They arrived at their destination, but they weren’t paying enough attention as they drove, and they honestly don’t remember getting there.

There are many things that can cause cognitive distractions. Maybe someone had an argument with their boss at work. Perhaps their spouse recently filed for divorce. Maybe they can’t remember what time they’re supposed to pick up the children from school. Perhaps they’re just very excited about an upcoming vacation, daydreaming about getting away. No matter what they are focused on, it takes that focus away from the road.

These mental distractions can cause serious car accidents. Those who have been injured need to know how to seek financial compensation.