Distracted Driving Not Just Texting

Have you ever been out in your car and caught the driver in the next lane texting? If you’re being completely honest, you’ll probably admit you’ve even done it yourself. While texting behind the wheel is a serious hazard to everyone on the road, there are a lot of other distracted driving habits that can be just as deadly.

Let’s be clear – texting and driving is dangerous, illegal, and unnecessary. But there are many other bad habits that are causing all sorts of problems on our roadways. And the results are just as tragic.

Research shows that about one-quarter of all car crashes are caused when the driver is distracted. Despite what you may think about your ability to multitask, you can only truly focus on one thing at a time. Driving demands all of your attention.

Aside from texting, other driving distractions include:

  • using a handheld cellphone
  • eating, drinking, or smoking behind the wheel
  • talking to passengers
  • personal grooming, like shaving or applying makeup
  • reading, watching videos, or playing games
  • using navigation systems or reading maps
  • adjusting car settings, including music and climate control

When you are behind the wheel of a car, this is not the time to discuss hot and heavy topics, experiment with a new hairstyle, or indulge in a four-course meal. And it is certainly NOT the time to be texting or playing games! If you have to do any of these activities – whether it is taking a call, checking directions, or grabbing a bite to eat – always find a safe spot to pull out of traffic, park, and take care of your business. Then get back on the road.

If you can only focus on doing one thing at a time, then make driving your only focus when you’re behind the wheel. A few seconds of distraction can kill. So pay attention to the road. Everything else can wait.

For more information

  • Driving While Distracted: It’s not just texting anymore, CNN
  • Shocking Habits of Drivers in Moving Vehicles, NetQuote Study

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Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater K.C. is the founding partner of Slater Vecchio. The majority of his practice is confined to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury cases.