Distracted driving is a major problem in the Old Line State. In fact, according to state officials, distracted driving contributes to nearly half of all motor vehicle accidents in Maryland.

If another motorist responds to text messages or answers phone calls behind the wheel, a serious traffic accident may be imminent. Nevertheless, there are four broad types of distracted driving that may endanger you and your passengers.

1. Manual distractions

Manual distractions are movements that cause a driver to divert his or her hands, feet or other body parts away from the driving task. Changing the car stereo, reaching into the backseat, applying makeup and eating fast food are common types of manual distractions.

2. Visual distractions

Visual distractions are items that encourage a driver to take his or her eyes off the road. These distractions include reading an instant message, looking at a map or watching a passing train.

3. Auditory distractions

Auditory distractions are sound or noise stimuli that often cause drivers to lose focus. Up-tempo or loud music, podcasts, audiobooks and even car noises may lead to dangerous driving conditions.

4. Mental distractions

Mental distractions often involve other types of distracted driving. These distractions take motorist’s mind away from driving. Mentally planning an upcoming social event, rehashing a bad meeting or thinking about anything else may impair an individual’s ability to drive safely.

While it may be impossible to clear one’s mind of all mental distractions before a trip in the car, motorists have a duty to avoid all types distracted driving. If a driver breaches this duty, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for the resulting injuries and property damage.