Muti-tasking during a daily commute has become a way of life for many of us – our cars have become a second home away from home. However, distracted driving can have deadly consequences. According to the Centers of Disease Control, distracted driving kills more than 15 people and injures more than 1,200 each day. So what exactly is considered distracted driving? “Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely,” said Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines at Erie Insurance.
We have complied a list of the Top 10 most dangerous distracted driving habits. To reduce the risk of an accident, make sure to pull over and park prior to tending to any of these distracted driving situations.
- Eating and Drinking – Don’t risk getting into an accident because of spilled coffee or a crumbled burger bun. Pull over at a rest stop, or eat when you arrive at your destination.
- Using High-Tech Gadgets – Such as a stereo, iPod, DVD player, or navigation system.
- Applying Makeup and General Grooming – Both men and women are guilty of using the vanity mirror to touch-up while driving. But beware – this takes your attention off the road and your hands off the wheel.
- Drowsy Driving – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates this causes 100,000 crashes annually, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths
- Watching Roadside Diversions – For example: billboards, accidents, or an outside event.
- Tending to Pets – Make sure to use a restraint (either seat belt or carrier) when your pet is your copilot.
- Interacting with Other Occupants, Including Children – According to AAA, young children are four times as distracting as adults, while infants can be eight times more distracting.
- Social Media and Texting – You are twenty-three times more likely to get into an auto accident if you text while driving, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
- Talking on a Cell Phone – Cell phone use while driving reduces reaction to the same level as having a blood alcohol content of .08. Hands-free phones are just as dangerous as a handheld. Put the phone away and let all incoming calls go to voice mail. Check it only when the car is parked.
- Day dreaming or “Lost in Thought” – According to police reports, driving on ‘autopilot’ is the riskiest driving behavior; accounting for 62 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents.
Research shows one in ten accidents are caused by at least one distracted driver. Do your best to avoid our top 10 list of distractions to avert an auto accident, and stay aware and alert on the roads as other drivers may not exhibit the same safe behaviors. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, contact the auto accident attorneys of Rutter Mills for a free, no obligation consultation of your legal rights.