Distracted driving is thought to be behind about a quarter of all motor vehicle accidents. Distractions are also behind about 9% of crashes that involve some kind of fatality.
That’s a significant factor — especially when you consider that every distracted driving accident is ultimately preventable. If every driver would simply pay attention, accidents and fatalities would drop significantly.
It may surprise you, however, to learn what is considered a distraction behind the wheel. Some common acts are pretty ingrained in American society, so people don’t tend to think of them as “distractions,” even when they are.
Here are things you should never do when you’re behind the wheel of a motor vehicle:
- Zone out: A driver’s wandering attention is behind about 62% of distracted driving accidents. It can be hard to keep your mind on the road if you’re tired, angry or upset, so take the time to clear your head and put aside your inner thoughts until you’re safely home.
- Talk on the phone: Your cellphone may feel like it’s a part of you, but turn it off when you’re driving. If you don’t trust yourself, throw it in the trunk. Cellphones are behind 12% of distracted driving wrecks.
- Rubberneck: If you see an accident, a strange sight on the road or a flashing sign, do your level best to keep your attention on your driving. Around 7% of distracted driving accidents come from distractions that are outside the vehicle itself.
- Let your passengers act up: Passengers can put a lot of demands on your mental resources if they aren’t respectful of the situation. They cause about 5% of distracted driving wrecks.
While this isn’t a definitive list, they are the most frequently cited sources of distractions drivers experience.
Every driver has to do their part to prevent distracted driving. If you’re injured because another driver failed to mitigate their risks, find out what kind of options you have for compensation.