You are driving to work. Your phone rings and you reach for it to see who is calling. The radio goes to commercial and you need to switch the channel. Your kids are arguing in the backseat, so you take your eyes off the road to find out what they are fighting over. All these are distractive activities while driving – and they happen all the time.
Distractions while driving only take seconds to happen, but they result in thousands of deaths and several thousands of injuries every year. Here are some of the common causes of distracted driving on American roads:
Operating your cellphone while driving
Operating a motor vehicle safely requires undivided attention. Regardless of your experience on the road, using your cellphone to make calls, text, get directions or even take pictures while driving can result in the following forms of distractions:
- Visual distractions – that take your eyes off the road to focus on your phone
- Cognitive distractions – that take your mind off the driving tasks
- Manual distractions – that cause you to take your hands off the steering while answering the call or texting
Driving with children onboard
Parenting is another common cause of distraction for drivers. Taking your eyes and attention off the road to attend to a child who is crying in the backseat can easily end in a disaster. The risk is even greater when you are driving with a young child on your lap (which is an offense in most states).
Having unrestrained pets in the car
Alongside children, driving with your pet onboard can also cause a distraction to the driver. As a good practice, be sure to keep your pets properly restrained while driving.
Car accidents happen all the time. And if you are involved in one, the outcome can be devastating. Knowing your rights can help you effectively pursue a personal injury claim if you are hurt in an accident that was not your fault.