Most drivers are aware of the dangers of driving and texting – or even talking on the phone while navigating the roads. The statistics agree as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least nine United States residents killed each day due to texting while driving.
However, texting isn’t the only distraction that happens behind the wheel. There are at least four significant distractions that drivers need to prevent before stepping into the car and hitting the highway.
Daydreaming or “lost in thought.”
While texting is a massive distraction among drivers, the most common distraction comes from our thoughts. Most drivers admit to letting their minds wander long enough to either cause a collision or come close to a potential accident. These daydreams are incredibly prevalent on long trips or daily commutes that drivers return to daily.
Other passengers (furry or not)
Most people do not realize how distracting passengers and pets are in their vehicles. If you have a barking dog, a crying baby or a laughing friend in the car, it’s easy to shift your focus away from the road. That’s why most parents restrict the number of passengers in a teen’s car because more passengers lead to more distractions.
Playing with car functions.
While teens are distracted by their phones, many older drivers tend to find distractions with the car functions themselves. Experts suggest that most senior drivers try to adjust the radio, Bluetooth, and other car functions while driving, causing significant accidents and injuries for other drivers. It’s critical to make any adjustments before you start your commute or trip.
Eating or drinking
Finally, one of the most common distractions is eating or drinking while driving. Most drivers relate to picking up a quick meal through the drive-through and eating it on the way home. However, you can’t keep both hands on the wheel while eating. Plus, it’s challenging to look at your food and also look at the road. It makes sense that trying to multitask will ultimately end in distracted driving.
All these distractions, including texting, are incredibly dangerous for Minnesotan drivers. The best way to protect yourself from distracted driving to model the right behaviors behind your wheel and speak out against distracted driving as a whole.