Few people know that a quarter of all car accident deaths are caused by a distracted driver. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets throughout American culture, it’s surprising that more accidents aren’t caused by distracted driving. The reality, though, is that only 10% of all distracted driving accidents are caused by cellphone use.
In fact, a recent study performed by a New England insurance company about victims of distracted driving incidents compiled a thorough survey of why people get distracted while driving in the first place. According to Doug Smith, the senior vice president of Erie Insurance, 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.” People drive distracted for several surprising reasons. So, unfortunately, we can’t just blame texting teenagers for every distracted driving accident.
The following is a list the Montana Advocates compiled of the top 7 causes of distracted driving accidents in the United States.
7. The Problem With Gravity: 2%
Up to 2% of all accident victims report that they were distracted due to a falling object. Oftentimes the driver is trying to recover an object from the floor or beneath their seat, and this is the cause of the distraction. So the next time you’re driving and you drop your phone onto the floor, do everyone a favor and just wait until the next stop sign to retrieve it.
6. Don’t Dash and Dine: 2%
The second most reported reason why drivers become distracted is due to a driver eating or drinking instead of keeping their yes on the road. Instead of trying to save time by eating on the go, just take a quick ten-minute eating break before hitting the road again.
5. When Road Tunes Prove Deadly: 2%
An additional 2% of distracted drivers reported that the accidents they were involved in were the result of them fiddling with the radio or trying to turn the A/C on or off. Thankfully, newer vehicle models now roll off the assembly line with distraction prevention measures, like steering wheel controls or even voice commands, in order to keep drivers from losing focus on the road before them.
4. There’s Danger in Numbers: 5%
One of the biggest distractions for drivers is other people in the car. Additional passengers can be distracting because of conversation or simply by being present in the car. It’s always wise to remember, however, to keep your eyes forward when you drive. If you have to look away from the road, do it as quickly as possible. No conversation, Remember to always keep your eyes on the road while you drive. No conversation, no matter how engrossing, is worth being injured in an accident over.
3. To Be a Rubbernecker: 7%
Nothing can be more of a drag than driving long distances. We completely understand. Being stuck behind the wheel for hours on end with only the scenery to keep you company is about as boring as it gets. However, tree watching can be extremely dangerous. Trucks and cars now have the ability to stop in the blink of an eye, so just glancing away for a few seconds can be perilous. When you’re driving you do your best to keep your eyes forward no matter how tempting the landscape may be. Rubbernecking is one sure-fire way to end up in the emergency room.
2. Texts That Kill: 12%
It’s no surprise that cellphone use ranks so highly on this list. At some point or another, every driver has looked over and seen the person next to them obliviously texting away on their phone. Texting while driving is one of the worst and definitely one of the most common type of distracted driving. Indeed it’s such a problem that there are dozens of PSAs detailing the horrors of texting and driving throughout nearly each and every culture. So do yourself a favor when you’re out there on the road and stow the cellphone away until you safely reach your destination of choice. Nobody wants a text to leave them as another grim statistic.
1. The Perils of Cloud Watching: 62%
By a considerable margin, the most reported reason accident victims report being distracted is daydreaming. Just like the reasons people give rubbernecking, drivers who daydream do so for much the same reasons: long drives and lonely car rides. Daydreaming while driving is dangerous because the operation of a car requires concentration and focus. Obstacles on the road come at you in a split second. If you suddenly find yourself daydreaming when you’re behind the wheel of a car the best way to break your reverie is to play upbeat music or possibly pull over at a rest stop so you can take a break. Most times if you find yourself daydreaming it’s a sign that you’ve likely driven far enough and should pick up where you left off the next day.
The Montana Advocates’ Car Accident Lawyers
These are the top 7 reasons why people drive while distracted. The Montana Advocates hope this list has been helpful. If you one day become the victim of a car accident caused by someone else, you will need an Advocate on your side. Our attorneys know how stressful an accident can be and we know best how to help you get your life back on track. Don’t hesitate to call our office at (406) 272-6986 or chat online right now with a live attorney from our homepage. Don’t wait. Contact us today. You deserve an Advocate!