8 Dangerous Causes Of Distracted Driving

It’s easy to get complacent behind the wheel if you’ve been driving for years. But letting your guard down on the road is what leads to many of the causes of distracted driving, which kills nearly ten people a day in the U.S.

Distracted driving can be anything from driving while you’re too tired to texting as you navigate. Even though there has been a push to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road, there are still too many people who don’t realize that their driving habits could actually be fatal.

Stay safe on the road by knowing these eight causes of distracted driving.

1. Dashboard Devices

Newer cars have installed computers into the dashboard of the car that are supposed to make things easier for us. Instead, they’re contributing to a lot of distracted driving.

Using these “infotainment” systems to do things like enter in directions, turn on Bluetooth, or look to see what song is playing can distract drivers for up to forty seconds at a time.

It’s best to only interact with these systems when your car is at a complete stop.

2. Pets

You might love taking your dog for a ride, but your pup’s love of fresh air could be the cause of a car accident.

Moving objects, like a pet or even a stray insect, can take a driver’s eyes away from the road for too much time. No matter how afraid you might be of spiders or bees, be sure to stay calm if one gets in your car. Trying to swat at it and drive at the same time could cause you to accidentally swerve and hit someone.

3. Texting

Texting is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, and probably the most well-known. Teens are the most likely to text and drive, with 42% of high school students in 2015 reporting that they had texted while driving.

Adults are guilty of this too, though, so it’s important for drivers of all ages to recognize the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

Thanks to prevention campaigns, the number of accidents from texting and driving is slowly dropping. It’s still important to remember that there is no text important enough to risk your life or someone else’s.

4. Looking Out Of The Window

How many times have you been stuck in traffic on the highway, only to realize that people have just been slowing down to look at an accident on the side of the road?

This type of distraction actually leads to even more accidents, since people are paying more attention to what’s outside the window than they are to the road. Other distractions could just be things like trying to read a street sign or looking at a person on the sidewalk.

5. Talking To Other Occupants

Whether you’re driving with friends or shuttling kids to and from school activities, there’s often more than one person in a car at any given time.

In a perfect world, no driver would be distracted by their passengers. However, talking to the other occupants of the car can distract people, leading to a preventable accident.

It’s especially bad talking to people in the backseat. For example, parents who look in the rearview mirror to correct a misbehaving child might miss the brake lights in front of them that warn them to slow down.

6. Adjusting Controls

Steering wheel controls have helped drivers to keep both hands on the wheel while changing the radio or adjusting other settings. However, not everyone has a newer car with those controls. Even if you do, habit might have you reaching for the radio knob anyway.

A little thing like changing the radio station or adjusting the air conditioning might not seem important enough to deserve a ‘dangerous’ label. But if you’re looking at the radio, that means you’re not looking at the road.

People who pride themselves on being safe drivers probably don’t text and drive. They’ll still change the song, though, because it doesn’t seem like a big deal. That’s why adjusting the controls in your car is still one of the big causes of distracted driving.

7. Reaching For Something

Whether you’re looking for your purse or the bottle of water in your cup holder, reaching for something else in the car throws off your concentration.

You naturally take one hand off of the wheel to grab whatever it is that you want. If you suddenly need to swerve or correct your steering, you’re less likely to have full control of your car.

Like so many of the other causes on this list, it’s best to only reach for another object in your car once you’ve come to a complete stop — or better yet, once you’ve put your car in park.

8. Letting Your Mind Wander

The biggest cause of distracted of driving actually isn’t texting — it’s just not giving your full attention to the road.

If you’re too busy thinking about things like bills, what to make for dinner, or even just the last book you read, you can miss what’s happening around you on the road. Thousands of accidents are caused because people let their minds wander and didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late.

Everyone gets frustrated, stressed, and tired, but it’s important not to let that stop you from being an alert driver. Always give your full attention to being aware of your surroundings. It can save someone’s life — or your own.

What If These Causes Of Distracted Driving Hurt You?

What do you do if you’ve done everything right, but someone else wasn’t paying attention and hit your car?

Sometimes the worst happens even when you’re not the one at fault. If you’ve been injured in an accident as the result of distracted driving, call Stephen Babcock.

Babcock Partners help car accident victims collect the compensation that they’re owed, including money for medical expenses and property damage. You won’t have to worry about anything other than healing and getting your life back to normal.

If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.

Your case — and your future will be our top priority.  When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.

If you have any questions about this article or want to contact us, call Stephen at (225) 500-5000 or contact us here.

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– Stephen Babcock