What Commonly Causes Distracted Driving Accidents?
According to the National Safety Council, cell phone usage contributes to about 1.6 million motor vehicle crashes every year. However, there are numerous other causes of distracted driving that are also dangerous and potentially deadly. Any time an individual is operating a motor vehicle, his or her attention should be solely focused on that task. The second you begin dividing your attention, you put yourself and others at risk for injuries or death.
Here are some of the most common forms of distracted driving that frequently result in accidents:
- Texting or talking on the phone: Texting or talking on the phone, even on a hands-free device, is incredibly distracting since these activities require some of your attention, especially if you are engaged in a particularly heated or important discussion. The National Safety Council estimates that 26% of motor vehicle collisions involve cell phone use. You should save all calls and texts for when you are safely parked. Nothing is more important than your life or the lives of others. If it absolutely cannot wait, pull over someplace safe and handle your calls and texts before you resume your trip.
- GPS: These days, many of us are unable to get from point A to point B without the use of a GPS, especially when in an unfamiliar area. However, you fiddle around with the route while driving, or do not have the device properly mounted to an area that does not require you to look away from the road, you might get involved in an accident. You should always have your GPS route set before starting your car and the volume set on high to avoid having to constantly glance at the screen.
- Adjusting your car’s controls: Whether you want to change the music, adjust the temperature, or pull your seat forward, attempting any of these adjustments while driving is dangerous and can potentially result in a serious accident. Take care of these adjustments before you begin your trip to avoid having to divide your attention when your eyes and focus should be on the road.
- Grooming yourself: Just because you walked out the door in a hurry without completing the finishing touches to your hair or makeup, does not mean you should finish up in the car. Attempting to brush your hair or apply mascara while operating a motor vehicle will substantially increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Do yourself and others around you a favor by postponing any grooming until after you have parked your vehicle.
- Talking to your passengers: Having conversations with your passengers might seem like the most natural thing you can do in a car, but this can also be a dangerously distracting habit, especially if you are particularly engrossed in the conversation. Save any conversations that might be potentially distracting for a time when you are not behind the wheel.
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