Nowadays, many Americans are in a hurry, which can lead them to eating, catching up with friends and family and otherwise engaging in distracted driving behaviors that endanger you and everyone else on the roadway. The distracted driving problem is so prevalent on the nation’s roads, in fact, that SafeStart.com reports it is a factor in about a quarter of all traffic deaths, with many distracted driving accidents sharing similar characteristics.
So, just what is it that is taking modern motorists’ attention away from the roadway?
Top causes of distracted driving accidents
As you might expect, the use of a cellphone while driving is a common factor in many distracted driving crashes. Texting receives considerable attention in the media for the number of crashes and fatalities it causes, but even speaking on a hands-free device has the capacity to take your mind away from the immediate task at hand.
Eating and drinking behind the wheel are also factors in numerous car accidents and fatalities, with even something as simple as placing a drink in a cup holder having the potential to distract a driver and cause a crash. Factors outside the vehicle, which can include anything from billboards to wildlife, also play a role in many car accidents, as can distractions that arise from other passengers traveling within the same vehicles.
If you are among the many motorists who allow their pets to travel freely within their vehicles while moving, it is important to note this, too, is a common factor in many car accidents. Using in-dash systems for navigation and such is also highly dangerous for drivers, as these systems can divert a motorist’s visual, manual and cognitive attention away from the road all at once.
Understanding common causes of distracted driving accidents and fatalities can help you avoid causing them yourself, but regrettably, there is only so much you can do if others fail to follow the rules of the road.