People often think about texting and driving first when they think about distracted driving. Since the smartphone was invented, phones have become the top cause of consequential distraction – both in the car and elsewhere. Many drivers have to intentionally keep their phones in their pockets to avoid distraction as a result.
But phones are far from the only driving distraction. And even when a phone is being used, it’s so versatile that many activities that have nothing to do with texting can still lead to car accidents.
Common examples of distracted driving
Distracted driving is a term that includes any other activity that may pull a driver’s attention away from the real job of driving their car – even if they still feel like they are in control. The following are some examples of activities that commonly lead to distracted driving:
- Texting or using a mobile phone: As noted, phones are one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. This includes reading or sending texts, going on Facebook, taking pictures or videos, browsing the internet, or just making a phone call.
- Eating and drinking: Consuming any food or beverages – not just alcohol – while behind the wheel can divert a person’s attention, and it means they have to let go of the steering wheel with at least one hand.
- Grooming: Activities like applying makeup, shaving or fixing hair while driving can significantly distract a driver from focusing on the road.
- Adjusting controls: Manually adjusting the radio, GPS, climate controls or other dashboard features can divert attention from the road ahead. Some of these jobs are necessary – like properly adjusting the mirrors – but should be done prior to leaving home.
- Talking to passengers: Engaging in deep or heated conversations – particularly when turning to face passengers while speaking – can distract a driver.
- Daydreaming: Allowing the mind to wander and lose focus on driving can lead to inattentiveness and delayed reaction times. A driver may not even realize they’re doing it.
- External factors: Focusing on external events or distractions outside the vehicle, such as looking at other accidents or billboards, can divert attention from the road.
Distracted driving increases the odds that a car accident will take place. It leads to more driving mistakes and reduces reaction times. It’s crucial to remain focused on driving and avoid engaging in activities that can lead to distraction while on the road.
With that said, other drivers will still get distracted and cause accidents that may affect even the most responsible of motorists. When these lead to serious pain and suffering, high medical bills, lost wages, and many other costs, drivers may be able to seek financial compensation from those distracted parties. Seeking legal guidance in the wake of such crashes is important accordingly.