4 common ways drivers end up distracted behind the wheel

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Personal Injury

Distracted driving has been called an “epidemic” on the U.S. roadways, and not without reason. It’s estimated that nine people are killed every single day in wrecks with distracted drivers.

Distracted driving is basically anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the road, even for a second. While distractions have always been a problem for drivers, the issue did get noticeably worse once smartphones became popular. That’s why there are now so many laws against texting and driving or laws that require all cellular devices to be “hands-free” when they’re used behind the wheel.

Cellular devices can’t be blamed for everything

Distractions come in all different shapes and forms, and the reality is that many common driving behaviors contribute to the problem. Since distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive, here are some of the ways that drivers end up causing wrecks:

  1. Eating and drinking: Consuming a burger or a cup of coffee while driving seems harmless to most people, but it requires at least one hand off the wheel. Spilling something down their shirt or into their lap can also cause a driver to immediately lose focus.
  2. Adjusting controls: Modern vehicles are loaded with creature comforts, but changing the radio station, adjusting the volume on the streaming service or programming a GPS while in motion is distracting and dangerous.
  3. Smoking or vaping: You can’t smoke in most public places, these days, so drivers who are aching for a nicotine fix can sometimes hardly wait to get in their cars and light up – but smoking is both a manual and a cognitive distraction. They’d be better off having their smoke and then driving. 
  4. Talking to passengers: People inside a car can be hugely distracting. Whether a driver is desperately trying to soothe a crying child or they’re in a heated argument with their significant other, their attention can wander along with their conversation.

If you’ve been hurt because another driver got distracted, you have every right to expect that driver to take responsibility for your injuries and losses. With the right legal guidance, you can get fair compensation.