Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Despite widespread awareness campaigns, people still engage in behaviors that take their attention off the road. While most people think of texting or using a cell phone when discussing distracted driving, many other types of distractions can lead to accidents.


What are some commonly overlooked types of distracted driving?


Below are three things people do while driving that can significantly increase the risk of crashing. The reason that most people overlook these distractions is not because they are not hazardous but because they are so common that people think it is normal. Do you regularly do any of the following while driving?


1. Eating and Drinking


Driving requires our full attention, yet many of us have been guilty of eating or drinking while behind the wheel. It’s easy to think that nibbling on a snack or having a sip of coffee is a minor distraction, but the truth is that taking our hands off the steering wheel, and especially our eyes off the road, can be extremely hazardous. Spilling or dropping crumbs while munching on something can also cloud our vision momentarily. Unfortunately, eating and drinking while driving are much more common than we think. In fact, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health, drivers who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. A momentary distraction can lead to severe consequences; it’s essential to remember that when we’re driving, our focus should always be on the road.


2. Grooming


When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to multitask while driving. However, grooming is one task that should always take a backseat to your safety. Applying makeup, shaving, or spritzing on perfume can not only diminish your sense of smell but also take your attention off the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), grooming was responsible for over 400 accidents in 2022. That’s a sobering statistic that proves the point – it’s not worth taking unnecessary risks. Before getting behind the wheel, take the time to get ready so that both hands are on the wheel and your eyes are focused on the road ahead. Remember, safety always comes first!


3. Conversations with Passengers


Driving with passengers can be a fun and enjoyable experience. However, it’s important to remember that talking with your passengers can be just as distracting as texting while driving. In fact, according to recent data, over 12,000 accidents were caused by this type of distraction in 2022. While chatting with your passengers may seem harmless, it’s crucial to keep your focus on the road and always have both hands on the wheel. If you need to have an important conversation or the conversation becomes disruptive, it’s best to pull over to a safe area or wait until you reach your destination before continuing. As a responsible driver, it’s important to prioritize safety above all else and avoid any unnecessary distractions that could put yourself and others in danger.


Ready to make a pledge to drive less distractedly?


Distracted driving is a growing epidemic on our roads today. We often think of distractions as texting or using a phone while driving, but there are many other commonly overlooked types of distracted driving. These can include eating, drinking, adjusting the radio or air conditioning, or even daydreaming while on the road. Unfortunately, these distractions can lead to devastating consequences, including car accidents and serious injuries. If a distracted driver has injured you or a loved one, please reach out to our team of experienced Toledo car accident attorneys. We are here to help guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. You can reach us at 419-843-6663 or by using our online contact form.