Attorney David J. King


Cognitive distractions can strike hard during the holidays

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | Car Accidents

Holiday planning is a priority for many people, but most don’t consider how thinking about those things might impact their ability to drive safely. Cognitive distractions are one of the three types of distractions that drivers face. 

All drivers on the roads must ensure they have their full focus on the road. They need to have a clear mind so they can process what’s going on around them. When they’re deep in thought about something other than driving, they aren’t aware of things related to driving. 

Why are cognitive distractions dangerous to drivers?

When a driver is distracted by their thoughts about holiday planning, they miss a lot of information that’s crucial to driving. One study notes that around half of the information presented to a driver (such as other vehicles or red lights) isn’t noticed by a driver whose mind is elsewhere. This makes it difficult to impossible for them to react appropriately to the obstacles and hazards around them. 

Another problem that might occur during the holidays is someone getting bad news or getting into an argument with a relative and then driving. Thinking about upsetting things is distracting and can take away the ability to drive safely. In some cases, anger at something that happened before driving can turn into road rage.

Anyone struck by another driver this holiday season may choose to seek compensation for the injuries they suffer. South Dakota law only allows you to do this for a certain period after the crash. Working with someone familiar with these matters can help you to get your case moving in the right direction.