The Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Americans are comfortable behind the wheel. Licensed drivers in America spend about an hour driving each day, according to a study from the US Department of Transportation. However, sometimes we get too comfortable in our cars, and start adopting habits that are dangerous.
25% of fatal car accidents are a result of distracted driving. Here are some of the most common examples of distractions that compromise our driving safety.
- Smoking-Related Distractions: 1 out of 100 distracted driving accidents involve cigarettes or smoking distractions.
- Internal Moving Objects: This cause involves pets or insects IN the car. Pets and insects can momentarily make you take your eyes off of the road and may actually get in the way of a driver's ability to operate the controls. Any animals in a moving car should be safely restrained in a way that prevents them from distracting the driver.
- Adjusting Climate/Audio Controls: Changing the settings on your audio system or temperature control should be simple, but it causes many drivers to take their eyes off the road.
- Eating or Drinking: Even something as simple as reaching down to put a cup in a holder can cause a car accident. Eating, on the other hand, poses an even bigger threat because not only might you look down to pick up your food but you also take one or both hands off the wheel. Additionally, activity like eating or drinking in the car causes us to divide our attention.
- Electronic Devices: If you bring your phone or an iPod in the car with you, this can take your mind and attention off of driving. This can even be true if you have a mounted device.
- Other People in the Car: It doesn't matter if you're a parent with kids in the car or a teenager with your friends; giving part of your attention to a passenger means you aren't paying full attention to what's going on, on the road. Distractions from other people in the car cause 5% of distracted driving car accidents.
- Cell Phones: Even hands-free options can still cause you to become distracted because you still need to tell the hands-free device what to do. Cell phones account for 12% of distracted driving accidents.
- Being Distracted or Lost in Thought: It sounds crazy, but this is the #1 reason for distracted driving accidents. It's easy for our minds to wander when we're doing something as basic and routine as driving. However, it also makes us unable to adapt quickly to problems on the road.
If you've been involved in a car accident because of someone else's distracted driving, contact Sloat Law for a free consultation where we can review your case and give you more information today.