Even if you're the most cautious driver on the road, it doesn't mean you'll never make a mistake. For example, if your phone rings while you're sitting in traffic, you may take your eyes off the road to see who it is.
Just as you can fall prey to distractions while driving, the same holds true of every other person on the road. This is why it's so important to always keep close tabs on what's happening around you.
Here are seven causes of distracted driving that can easily sneak into your vehicle:
- Anything to do with your smartphone: This can include but is not limited to texting, talking, sending or receiving an email, and browsing the internet. If you must use your smartphone in your car, pull to safety before doing so.
- Daydreaming: It's easy to become lost in thought when driving, especially if you're behind the wheel over an extended period of time.
- Adjusting vehicle controls: Your audio, climate and GPS controls may need adjusting at times. If so, keep your eyes on the road when doing so. If this isn't possible, pull to safety and then proceed with your adjustments.
- Passengers: This can include everyone from a coworker in the front seat to an upset child in the back. Passenger distractions can come on at any time, so let these people know that you must remain focused.
- Reaching for an object: Maybe you find yourself reaching for your cellphone in the center console. Or maybe your child asks you to grab something that is under your seat. When you reach for an object, you're taking at least one hand off the wheel. You may also temporarily lose sight of the road.
- Drinking or eating: Many people drink and eat while driving as a way of saving time and making their trip more enjoyable. Doing so means you have to take at least one hand off the wheel, thus increasing the chance of an accident.
- Outside event: This can include things such as staring at an accident, reading a sign or watching someone walk down the sidewalk.
As you avoid these common driving distractions, pay close attention to other drivers.
If a distracted driver hits your vehicle, move to safety and call 911. Once you receive treatment, learn more about the cause of the crash, file an insurance claim and do your part in holding the distracted driver responsible.