What Are the Most Common Driving Distractions?

Car Accidents,Personal Injury • March 26, 2024

Understanding common driving distractions is crucial, as they account for a significant number of road accidents. With the advent of mobile technology and other in-car systems, distracted driving has become an epidemic, increasingly leading to car accidents, causing serious injuries and fatalities every day. The following are some of the most common driving distractions:

Cell Phone Use

One of the leading causes of distracted driving is the use of cell phones behind the wheel. Whether it’s texting, making a call, checking social media, or even setting up your GPS, any interaction with a mobile device or any form of technology while operating the vehicle dramatically increases your chances for accidents.

In 2021, New Jersey saw 1,076 car crashes related to cell phone usage, leading to significant injuries and fatalities. Many believe using a headset while talking on the phone is safer than holding it in your hand, but research suggests that this practice actually isn’t substantially safer than holding the phone.. If you need to make an emergency call, stop driving and park somewhere safe – there’s nothing that can’t wait.

Eating and Drinking

The act of eating or drinking behind the wheel diverts attention from driving, requiring you to take at least one hand off the steering wheel, which can diminish your ability to react quickly during dangerous situations. Eating and drinking often takes your eyes away from the road as well, which is even more dangerous.

To avoid this hazard while on the road, it’s best that you plan meals around your driving schedule, ensuring there’s plenty of time for eating either before or after your trip.

Talking to Passengers

Engaging in conversations with passengers can be distracting, leading you away from adequately monitoring the road and your immediate surroundings.

To prevent such distractions, set expectations with those in the car with you, encouraging them to take proactive steps to avoid taking your attention away from the road. When a discussion is getting too intense or demands considerable mental effort, which would cause you to lose focus, it’s better to stop and pick it up later.

Adjusting Music or Climate Controls

Adjusting your music and climate settings while driving can be a major hazard because it requires your eyes to leave the road and your hands to leave the wheel. This makes it difficult for you to see hazards in front of you and can even lead you to swerve into another lane or rear-end the driver in front of you if traffic suddenly stops.

To decrease this risk, set up your playlists and climate preferences before you actually start driving.

External Distractions

Distractions like eye-catching billboards or accidents visible from the road can draw a driver’s focus away from driving safely. To maintain your concentration despite external stimuli, it is important that you deliberately make the choice to stay focused on driving.

Do your best to anticipate areas with high levels of external distractions, such as urban centers or busy highways, and remind yourself of the importance of keeping attention on the task at hand. It’s crucial that you actively avert your gaze from distracting scenes whenever possible.

Staying focused while driving is your best defense against accidents caused by distractions which are so abundant in the modern world. When a person fails to leave enough space and time for reacting to the road in front of them because of a distraction, it can lead to serious accidents. If you find yourself a victim and believe someone else’s distraction was the cause, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our distracted driving car accident lawyers in Jersey City.