Distracted Driving - 10 Dangerous Distractions
According to police reports analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one in ten fatal car accidents from 2010 and 2011 involved at least one distracted driver. If you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving, you are driving distracted. Here are the top 10 distractions in accidents involving at least one fatality.
In 1 percent of the fatal accidents, one of the drivers was smoking, lighting up or ashing their cigarette. Smoking takes at least one of your hands off of the wheel, and removes your eyes from the road when ashing or lighting a cigarette. All of this can be very dangerous, not to mention how dangerous smoking itself is for your body.
9. Moving Objects, Including Pets and Insects.
1 percent of the police reports analyzed listed moving objects as the distraction causing the accident. This can be an over-excited dog, a bee flying through an open window, a drink falling out of the cup holder, etc. These objects can severely distract a driver, who may panic or reach out to grab whatever is moving.
8. Using Built-In Car Devices
Another 1 percent of fatal distractions involved fiddling with car parts such as mirrors, seats, or built-in navigation systems. This is why it is very important to adjust your seat and mirrors before you even start your vehicle. Also, set up your navigation system before you start driving. If you get lost and need to turn on the system during a drive, pull over and do it.
7. Adjusting Climate or Audio
2 percent of drivers admitted that the accident that caused a fatality was because of them adjusting the volume of their audio or another similar distraction. Adjust your radio to the station and volume you want before you start driving. Also set your A/C or heater to a temperature with which you are comfortable. If you need to adjust the audio or temperature while driving, ask a passenger to do so for you. If driving alone, wait until your car is stopped at a light or stop sign, or pull over.
6. Eating or Drinking
Another 2 percent of drivers were eating or drinking when they caused a fatal accident. Never eat a meal while driving! Only use the drive thru if you are going to a rest area or other location to eat. Otherwise, go inside and eat. The time you would save by eating while driving is not worth your life or the life of others around you.
5. Using or Reaching For A Device Brought Into the Vehicle
The most common items reached for by another 2 percent of drivers were a GPS or headphones. Other common items may include the aux cord. Taking a hand off of the wheel can cause an accident, and it is very possible that you will have to look away from the road to find the device.
4. Other People In the Vehicle
5 percent of drivers involved in these crashes were talking to or looking at a passenger. Try not to have any distracting conversations, and never take your eyes off the road to look at someone else in your car.
Rubbernecking is when a wreck or other distraction is happening outside of the vehicle, and the driver turns their head to watch the drama. 7 percent of the accidents were caused by this. It can be tempting to to watch, but avoiding watching the cleanup after a wreck can keep you from having a wreck of your own.
2. Cell Phones
Using your cell phone while driving is incredibly dangerous. Drivers using their cell phone for talking or texting accounted for 12 percent of the distracted drivers. Texting is the number one worst way to use your cell phone while driving, which is why many states have passed laws making it illegal. Read our article on the dangers of texting and driving here.
Have you ever gotten home and realized you had zoned out while driving and don't remember certain sections of the journey? This type of driving counted for an astounding 62 percent of fatal accidents in the study. Make every effort to stay as alert as possible while driving. Even if you have driven a certain route for years, don’t trust yourself on autopilot. Keep your thoughts centered around driving.
These distractions are some of the most dangerous things that can affect your driving. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, and stay focused! Don’t be a distracted driver.
Infinity Insurance can keep you from being distracted about not having car insurance. Click the following link to get a Free Auto Insurance Quote or give us a call at 1-800-INFINITY!
The materials available in the Knowledge Center are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any of the links contained within the website do not create representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.