Distracted driving is dangerous and a major cause of accidents and injuries on the road today. Still, many drivers underestimate the risk it poses and the variety of distractions that can cause disruptions.
You should understand some of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents so you can stay focused and avoid potential hazards while behind the wheel.
Texting while driving
The number one cause of distracted driving is texting while behind the wheel. Reading or sending text messages takes your eyes completely off the road for several seconds at a time. This reduces your reaction time and ability to safely operate your vehicle. According to the NHTSA, 5 seconds of distraction at 55 miles per hour is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Eating and drinking
Another top distraction is eating or drinking while driving. Unwrapping food packaging, taking bites or handling drinks can dangerously divert your attention. Hot coffee or other spilled drinks can also burn your skin, causing you to panic and lose control of the vehicle. For your own safety and others on the road, save snacks and drinks for non-driving breaks.
Loud music or passengers
Having the music turned up loud in your vehicle or chatter from passengers can also shift focus away from driving. Loud music can prevent you from hearing sirens or other important warning sounds that indicate hazards ahead. Rowdy passengers can also encourage you to look away from the road at what is happening inside the car. Keep music at a reasonable level and ask passengers to avoid distracting behavior while in transit.
Avoiding distractions such as texting, eating and disruptive passengers will go a long way towards preventing accidents and injuries. Stay focused on driving to keep yourself and everyone on the road safer.