What Makes a Driver Distracted?

distracted driver

April is Distracted Driving Month. Did you know? In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States.

Understanding Driver Distraction:

In this video from the American Psychological Association, we see how Cognitive neuroscientist David Strayer, PhD, studies how the brain processes information to better understand what causes driver distraction.

The Three Kinds of Distracted Driving:

  1. Visual Distraction: Doing something that requires the driver to look away from the roadway
  2. Manual Distraction: Doing something that requires the driver to take hands off of the steering wheel
  3. Mental Distraction: Thinking about something other than driving


distracted driving infographic
courtesy of


Some activities, such as texting while driving, are especially dangerous as they involve all 3 types of distracted driving. According to Dr. Strayer, drivers texting are 8 times more likely to be in an accident; this is higher than drunk driving.

Multitasking is a Myth

Your brain cannot process two cognitively-demanding things at once, such as reading text and driving. Instead, during distracted driving, your attention shifts rapidly between two tasks. In those milliseconds between, situations can rapidly change in a moving vehicle.

The Great Multitasking Lie

The Law in Pennsylvania

Currently 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving and 18 states have some form of ban on talking with a handheld device while driving. In Pennsylvania, there is a $50 fine if a driver is caught texting while driving.


Please be careful out there! If you are interested in a personal auto insurance exposure review, or would like more information regarding Henderson Brothers’ Personal Insurance Services, please call or email Donna Simms.


simms card



Three Types of Driving Distractions,

Distracted Driving,

The California Traffic Safety Institute

Distracted Driving Research, The National Safety Council


Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide authoritative and accurate information, in regard to the subject matter covered. However, it is not provided as legal or tax advice and no representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.