Common Causes of Distracted Driving

2/17/2020 By Andrea Gold Read in 3 minutes

Find out what the most common driving distractions are and how to avoid them.

Every day about nine people are killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease, Control, and Prevention (CDC). Find out what the most common driving distractions are and how to avoid them.

You’re driving home from work on a Friday. You’re in a rush because you have plans. Your phone rings, you answer it and as you pick the phone up a car cuts right in front of you. You almost had a serious car accident. You weren’t as alert as you usually are because you were answering your phone. You’re relieved you didn’t get into an accident. Still, you realize how quick an accident caused by distracted driving can happen. 

Unfortunately, accidents like this happen every day. Some are more serious than others, but the last thing you want is to be involved in a car crash. There are so many things that can distract you while driving. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention off the road. Anything from talking to your children to looking at your GPS is considered distracted driving.  

3 Types of Distracted Driving

  • Taking your eye off the road
  • Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Taking your mind off driving

Distracted Driving Causes

  • Talking or texting
  • Eating in the car
  • Looking at your GPS
  • Watching a show on a smartphone
  • Pets in the car

How Pets Distract Drivers

Most pet owners like to take their pets in the car with them. Dogs are the most common pet that people take for a car ride. Dogs are companions, and many people like to take their dog to the dog park, a cafe, and other social places. Driving with a dog in the car can be very distracting. 

If the dog isn’t restrained he or she can try to sit on your lap, move from one side of the car to the other, or even fall. While your dog is moving around in the car, you’re watching to make sure he or she doesn’t get hurt. If your dog falls, you immediately look to see if he or she is okay. These things take your eyes off the road for more than a few seconds, putting you and your dog in danger. 

If you drive with your dog or any other pet, it’s essential to limit the interaction you have with them. One way to do this is with a safety harness or crate. If you know your pet is safe, you will be able to keep your attention on the road. 

Dangers of Texting and Driving

One of the most dangerous things you can do in a car is text. If you text while driving, your attention is taken off the road for at least 5 seconds, which is the length of a football field. Many people, especially teenagers, think it’s okay to take their eyes off the road for a few seconds. It isn’t. 

A couple of seconds could cost you or someone else their life. Texting falls into all three types of distracted driving, making it one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel. Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an auto accident than drunk driving, according to the National Safety Council. Consider turning your phone off when you drive. This way, you won’t be tempted to read a text or answer the phone.

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