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The top 5 most dangerous driving distractions

Cell phone being used while driving. A form of distracted driving.

Dec. 9, 2018. Distracted driving is a major safety problem and an estimated 25% of car accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities are caused by distracted driving. It’s safe to say that just about everyone has been guilty of being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle while driving so it’s important to be aware of common distractions and have a plan for avoiding them. Here are facts on some of the most dangerous or top distractions while driving.

5. Using a device that was brought into the car

Using any kind of device in the car takes your focus away from driving, such as a tablet that may project entertainment such as movies.

4. Passengers

Other occupants of the vehicle can be a huge distraction while driving, you may have to ask your passengers to be mindful of not distracting the driver.

3. Distractions outside of the vehicle

People, animals, accidents, and other unexpected events outside of the vehicle can cause you to become distracted. It is human nature to want to find out what happened when you pass an accident. That split second you spend focusing elsewhere can be enough to cause your own accident. At 50 km/h you could travel 45 feet in a second!

2. Cell phones

Cell phones are such a major distraction that they get their own category and cellphone use is the second largest cause of distraction-related fatalities.

1. Daydreaming or thinking about something other than driving

A driver thinking about something else and not paying attention to the road is by far the leading cause of deaths related to distracted driving.

It’s obvious that these are dangerous behaviors, so why do we engage in them? People become complacent once they’ve been driving for a while and overestimate their ability to handle distractions. To make matters worse, drivers are often tired, stressed, or in a rush, which can influence their decision making and driving ability.

So how can you make it easier for yourself to focus on driving? Some easy tips for avoiding distracted driving include:

  • Using Bluetooth if you need to make a call (it’s easy to set up if you have a newer vehicle and a cell phone with Bluetooth)
  • Programming your GPS at home and not when you’re already on the road
  • Making sure pets and children are settled and need minimal attention while you’re driving
  • Making a conscious effort to be aware of your surroundings and other drivers so you don’t get lost in thought or distracted by anything inside or outside of the vehicle.