Every year, about 32,500 people die due to a car crash. About 1/3 of those fatalities are due to one or both drivers being distracted. We want to give you the most ways drivers are distracted and how to avoid them.
According to EHS Safety News America, the #1 reason drivers are distracted is being in a daydream for too long. EHS estimates that about 62% of distracted drivers are simply into their own thoughts and not focused on the road or checking their mirrors. Now there is not much you can do to avoid daydreaming because most of the time it is accidental, it is best to plan your day before driving and calm any stress before heading on the road.
2. Cell Phones
It is no surprise that cell phones are near the top of the list. Farmers Insurance thinks that phones should be turned off completely, or at the very least, have your phone on silent and hidden away. Cell phones while driving should only be used for emergencies. If it is an emergency, it is best to pull over to your right and take as much time as you need. EHS estimates that cell phone use is cause for 12% of crashes.
3. Others in the Car
Either talking or looking at others in the car is due to 5% of crashes. Although your eyes may be on the road when you’re talking, your mind cannot multitask. Rather, it goes between both tasks rapidly which never really grants you full attention to any one task. Geico suggests that teens especially should limit the amount of people they have while driving. In most states, teenagers cannot have passengers under the age of 18 in their vehicle during their first year of driving. This is because the less experience of driving, the more attention and practice is required to eventually get comfortable. But this even extends to adults.
4. Eating or Drinking
According to EHS, eating or drinking is responsible for 2% of all crashes. Food or drink spills are a major deterrent to the road. Simply having food or water in one of your hands brings down your attention to the road drastically. Try eating before or after to avoid this. If you absolutely must eat, have a passenger help you.
5. Controlling Audio, GPS, or Climate
Even switching the A/C from off to on can lead to you getting in an accident. EHS estimates that 2% of crashes are because of drivers adjusting their music, GPS, or A/C. If you have passengers, have them “be DJ”, tell you where to go, and adjust the weather in your car. If not, set everything set up before driving on the road.
We know that temptation seeps through while driving, but we are here to at least encourage you to be a safer driver. We hope you find this useful or sheds some light to the small distractions that can lead to a big accident.