Distracted driving might seem like an unavoidable part of life on the road, but it can cause tragic and even fatal accidents. According to a startling report by the CDC, 9 people die in the U.S. every day and over a thousand are injured daily because of distracted driving.
We can all do our part to bring down these statistics. Driving with fewer distractions starts with understanding what those distractions are. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 main causes of distracted driving and how they might be avoided. This data is reported by SafeStart – a company focused on accidents caused by human error and how to reduce preventable injuries and deaths. Most of us are guilty of at least a few of these distractions and the most common causes might surprise you.
#1 Cause of distracted driving: Getting lost in thought! While you might have assumed that the most sinister cause of distracted driving would be something involving cell phones or loud passengers, this seemingly innocent distraction causes 62% of distracted driving accidents!
Solution: Keep your eyes, and your thoughts, on the road at all times. It might be tempting to mentally run through your work presentation during your morning commute or daydream about what you want for dinner on the way home, but it could cost a life!
#2 Cause of distracted driving: Using your cell phone. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard the stories of someone sending a text while driving, without knowing it would be their last words. Using our cell phones is so normal that we often forget just how much attention it requires. And it’s not just about taking your eyes off the road to look at a screen. According to SafeStart, even hands-free mode cell phone use causes 12% of all distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Remember that almost every call or text can definitely wait until you are safely parked. It’s just not worth the risk. And keep in mind that hands-free mode might help prevent some accidents, but it can still cause significant distractions and can still lead to serious accidents. If you need a GPS, check directions and traffic before you go so that you aren’t relying on a device while driving.
#3 Cause of distracted driving: Your car’s surroundings. Unsafe distractions such as rubbernecking cause 7% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Of course, you need to pay attention to passing cars and what’s happening on the road ahead, but you don’t need to focus on the beautiful house you’re driving by, a billboard, or even a roadside emergency.
#4 Cause of distracted driving: Passengers. Distractions from kids, friends, and pets cause 5% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Limit your number of passengers, let passengers know when they are becoming loud or distracting, and pull over if your pet or child needs your attention.
#5 Cause of distracted driving: Devices that aren’t part of the car. Before you even start texting, just reaching for a phone requires enough attention to cause 2% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Don’t reach for devices such as phones, iPads, computers, etc while driving. Even adjusting a device or checking notifications can cause a deadly accident. If you’re worried about an important incoming call or text from work, talk to your boss about your commitment to safer driving and that you’ll be unavailable to answer while you’re driving.
#6 Cause of distracted driving: Eating and drinking cause 2% of distracted driving accidents. Something as simple as that coffee in the cupholder can require you to lose focus on the road.
Solution: Stop trying to save time by having breakfast during your commute.
#7 Cause of distracted driving: Audio or air controls can cause 2% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Adjust your car’s audio and climate before getting on the road.
#8 Cause of distracted driving: Adjusting vehicle devices such as seatbelts and mirrors contribute to 1% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: It’s always safer to adjust mirrors and fasten seatbelts before putting the car in drive!
#9 Cause of distracted driving: Moving objects in your car such as animals or insects contribute to 1% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: If you need to secure your pet or get rid of a spider on the dashboard, pull over!
#10 Cause of distracted driving: Smoking. Lighting up can cause 1% of distracted driving accidents.
Solution: Limit smoking to times when you’re not driving, or at least light and put out cigarettes after you’re parked.
Car accidents can result in life-altering injuries. If you’ve been injured because of a distracted driver, call a personal injury attorney you can trust! Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg at (561) 508-8800 or online
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