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Car Accident Information Center

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Common Distracted Driving Activities that Result in Car Accidents

Millennial girl texting while driving both hands on phoneDistracted driving is any driving whereby you are not fully paying attention to driving; in other words, you are distracted by something (sounds obvious, right?). This manifests itself in a wide range of activities, and many distracted drivers are therefore the cause of car accidents. With the increasing reliance on phones for maps, music, and messaging, car accidents caused by distractions are on the rise. This is unfortunate, but one of the only ways to rectify this and hopefully see these rates fall again is to become aware of what the most common distractions are while driving. Be aware, however, that the distractions listed in this article are not the only forms of driving distractions out there. In fact, the list is endless!


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In this day and age, phones are definitely one of the most common causes of distracted drivers being involved in car accidents. It was recently found that around 26% of all car accidents in the United States are caused by the use of a cell phone. Naturally, that’s an incredibly startling number. The most common group affected by these accidents are young people, though it’s important to recognize that young people are not solely responsible for these accidents, and many times they are caused by or involve older people too. Phones can be incredibly distracting as we often rely on them for our navigation systems and in-car entertainment (music/radio etc.), and if you don’t have settings to turn off notifications, you can also often still see notifications popping up as you drive. The more you see notifications popping up, the more likely you are to click them!

To avoid being one of those distracted drivers, make sure your phone is set up to not show you notifications when you are driving. Also, you can use sat-navs that are now on your phone for navigation and use the radio and CD functions on your car to listen to music. If you don’t have any other means of navigation than your phone, make sure you program it before you leave, and if at any point you have to adjust it, make sure you pull over in a safe place to do so.

Eating and Drinking

Believe it or not, an incredibly high number of car accidents are caused by people eating and drinking while they are driving! You might think it is relatively innocent to grab a bite to eat while you are on a long road trip, but it unfortunately often results in terrible collisions. One study in 2014 found that drivers who are eating and drinking are 3.6 times more likely to crash than those who are being attentive. These numbers might be shocking, as most people think that they are still being very attentive to the road while eating or drinking. The reality is that any activity which takes your full focus away from the road- even if it only takes up a tiny part of your focus- makes you more likely to be involved in a car accident. A simple solution to this is to pull over if you really need to eat or drink on your journey. Worried this will take up too much time and make you late? Simply add on some extra time to your journey and leave earlier to accommodate for this.

Talking/Other Occupants

Another common cause of car accidents by distracted drivers is talking with other passengers in the car. Further, generally being distracted by what other passengers in the car are doing (even if it doesn’t directly involve you) also very often results in collisions. Surprisingly, being distracted by other passengers tops phones and eating and drinking in the car. Approximately 57% of all car accidents caused by a distracted driver are caused by them talking to another passenger. While it can be fun to drive your friends around, particularly when you first learn to drive, it is very important to understand that it can also lead to fatal results. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be the one who is responsible for your loved ones getting hurt in a car accident.

To avoid this, make sure that you make it absolutely clear to your passengers before leaving that you need to keep the conversation to a minimum- this is particularly important when you are crossing an intersection or passing another driver. Ensure that the passenger has everything they need and that if at any point in the journey you need to hand them something (or vice-versa), that you pull over in a safe spot before doing so. Laying down some ground rules for your passengers is tremendously important for their safety as well as your own.

Another thing to consider is that a dog is also technically a passenger. Many drivers let their dogs roam free in the car, and this ultimately causes distractions when the dog moves around or gets too close to the driver. Avoiding this is fairly easy, as you can buy partitions that separate the driver and the backseat so that your dogs cannot come near you and are confined to their own space. Again, if your dogs are in need of attention, always make sure you pull over safely before attending to them. While they might be important to you, the most important thing in any driving situation is to maintain safety by minimizing distraction.

For a free legal consultation, call 954-951-0000

What to do if you are involved in a car accident from distracted driving?

It’s all well and good knowing some of the common causes of distracted driving accidents, but you’re probably wondering to yourself, what do I do if I’m involved in a collision resulting from distracted driving?

If you are involved in a car accident, whether caused by distracted driving or something else, you ought to hire a car accident attorney. This will help you to ensure that the claim has legal standing in your insurance case and make it hard for the insurance company to deny your damages.

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