What is a Cognitive Distraction?

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Many car accidents are caused by the “cognitive distraction” of the driver. Cognitive distraction is simply another way to describe driver inattention.

Driver inattention can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. A safe driver pays attention to the road, while, in contrast, a distracted driver literally doesn’t see what is in front of them. Paying attention to the road means paying attention to what is in front of you, what is to each side, and to what is behind you. Not paying attention to the road is negligence and can be decisive in a finding of fault for a car accident.

Examples of Cognitive Distractions

A cognitive distraction is anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off of the road. It is not uncommon to enjoy listening to a good song on the radio and sing along, and, before you know it, you are doing 85 MPH on the highway.  This is a cognitive distraction.  Some of the more common forms of cognitive distraction while driving include:

  • reading a map on one’s lap
  • dealing with children in the back seat
  • changing the station on the radio
  • looking at something or someone by the side of the road
  • looking at directions
  • reading while driving
  • dealing with an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or any other electronic device
  • talking on a non-hands-free phone
  • texting
  • getting something out of the glove compartment
  • picking up something off the floor
  • adjusting your seat
  • blowing your nose
  • getting something out of your pocket
  • getting something out of the back seat
  • eating or drinking

Contact an experienced distracted driving attorney

At Polito & Harrington, we offer personalized and attentive service while handling your personal injury case.  Your case will be handled directly by Norwich, CT. lawyers Humbert Polito or James Harrington. You will always be able to talk with your lawyer when you need to. We will work hard to hold people responsible for injuries caused by their carelessness.

To schedule a free consultation at Polito & Harrington to discuss your distracted driving injury claim, call 1.860.447.3300.


1.      https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/car-accidents-cell-phones-30055.html

2.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=28650

3.      https://traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/distracted-driving.html

4.      https://www.enddd.org/research-stats/#r3

5.      https://www.all-about-car-accidents.com/resources/auto-accident/after-car-accident/what-cognitive-distraction

6.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31947

7.      https://traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/texting-while-driving.html

8.      https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/cell-phones-texting-driving-state-laws-29774.html

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