It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of traffic accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving. What may surprise you about these distracted driving crashes is that many of them may not have been caused by interactions with smartphones. In today’s world, we are left under the impression that distracted driving is caused solely by the smartphone, but there are other things out there that can cause you to lose focus on the road. Here six of those things you might not expect to cause a distracted driving accident.
6 Things that Can Cause a Distracted Driving Crash
- Fallen Items– We all have things in our cars, from change to trash, but some of these items could cause a distraction that leads to an accident. For instance, if you are driving with a fragile package or item in your lap, and it falls to the floor of your car while you’re taking a turn, retrieving that item while you are driving could lead to you leaving your lane. Leave the fallen item on your floor board, or pull over to retrieve it instead of driving on.
- Doing Make Up– This action requires a lot of time of you looking at yourself in a mirror. And if you are driving and looking at yourself instead of the road, you are endangering the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road.
- Eating– Many people often eat in the car because they have very little time to do it at any other point in the day. However, it is better is you plan a meal time other than while you’re at the wheel. Often you have to take your hands off the wheel to arrange your food for consumption and this can make controlling your vehicle difficult. Plus, dropping hot food or a beverage in your lap can cause a knee jerk reaction that could cause you to panic and steer your vehicle into danger.
- Children– For parents, kids can be one of the greatest sources of distraction imaginable. Whether they have suddenly started crying or they have somehow gotten out of their safety seat, it’s important to remain calm and stay focused on the road while driving. If you plan to drive with your child in the car, having another mature passenger in the car can help defuse any situation that may arise. And if you are driving your child alone, calmly pull over if your child starts crying or gets out of their seat. A panicked reaction could cause harm to your child or to your fellow motorists.
- Pets– Having a pet in your lap, or even letting the animal ride in your vehicle unrestrained can be hazardous for you, others using the road and your pet. Be sure to have the proper safety restraints for your pet in the car. This will keep them from suddenly bumping into you and causing an accident. And if there’s an emergency with your faithful companion, stay calm and pull over.
- Infotainment Systems– They tell us that car infotainment systems are specially designed to not distract drivers, but that’s not necessarily true. A study from AAA found that most 2017 infotainment systems take a significant amount of attention to be operated. The two most distracting functions in these systems turned out to be navigation and texting features. Even systems with voice activation were found to be distracting due to complex menus and software errors. The best thing you can probably do when dealing with these systems is only use the simplest of functions when you are actually driving.
There are even more distractions out there on the open road, so you should be cautious at every turn. And don’t forget that if you are seriously injured in an auto accident, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney, because they can help investigate to see if you have been the victim of a distracted driving incident. And that could make all the difference in making sure you recover from the damages inflicted on your life.