Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous types of driver errors. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,522 people lost their lives in accidents involving distracted drivers in 2021. Many different things can distract a motor vehicle driver enough to cause a car accident. Driver distractions fall into three main categories.

Visual Distraction

A visual distraction can refer to anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. If a driver is looking at something other than the roadway in front of the car, it is considered a visual distraction. These distractions are dangerous because they reduce a driver’s reaction time to hazards, such as a vehicle that has suddenly stopped. This can lead to a crash, including a rear-end collision. Common examples of visual distractions are:

  • Reading a text message or email
  • Watching a video
  • Looking over at a passenger
  • Looking at photographs
  • Looking at a map or GPS
  • Reading a book or newspaper
  • Reading a billboard
  • Rubbernecking a car accident

If a driver isn’t looking at the road, he or she may not be able to react to changing roadway situations in time to prevent a crash. The most dangerous type of visual distraction is texting while driving. According to the NHTSA, a driver looking down at a text message for just 5 seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving across a football field blindfolded. Young drivers are the most likely to text and drive.

Manual Distraction

The second type of driver distraction is manual. It refers to anything that takes one or both of the driver’s hands off the wheel. A safe and prudent driver keeps both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Failing to do so can make it more difficult for a driver to maneuver safely away from a crash risk, such as a pedestrian that darts into the road. Examples of manual distractions include:

  • Reaching for something on the floorboard
  • Digging through a bag or purse
  • Typing a text message
  • Taking a selfie
  • Holding food or a beverage
  • Smoking a cigarette
  • Personal grooming
  • Fiddling with the GPS or radio
  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Holding a pet

Taking one or both hands off the wheel could lead to a loss of vehicle control, such as the car drifting into another lane. Drivers should not attempt to do anything except drive when behind the wheel. If they must use a cell phone, they should use a hands-free device.

Cognitive Distraction

The third type of driver distraction is the most dangerous: cognitive distraction. This refers to the driver thinking about something other than the driving task. Safely operating a motor vehicle requires 100 percent of a driver’s mental focus. Examples of dangerous cognitive distractions include:

  • Talking to passengers
  • Talking on the phone
  • Listening to a podcast or audiobook
  • Daydreaming
  • Thinking about work or school

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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