More than cellphones cause driving distractions

When you see anti-distracted driving campaigns, they often focus on drivers causing accidents while texting or talking on their cellphones. It's well-known that phones are perhaps the biggest distraction behind the wheel, and they do cause a lot of accidents. These campaigns are not wrong.

The problem, though, is that they can be a bit misleading. They suggest that phones are the only cause of distraction that increases danger on the road.

The reality is that any distraction at all can lead to an accident. People simply cannot do multiple tasks at the same time and expect to do them all well. This is especially true with young drivers. If a secondary activity takes their mind off of the road, they're in danger. Examples include:

  • Eating and driving
  • Drinking and driving -- both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks
  • Doing makeup or fixing their hair
  • Talking to passengers in the car
  • Turning to look at other people in the car
  • Reaching for something on the floor or on the other seat
  • Changing the radio station or picking a new song on their phone

You can keep going. There are stories of people reading books or maps, falling asleep behind the wheel, shaving, changing their clothes or even trying to do schoolwork. The list of potential distractions is essentially endless.

You may understand these risks perfectly. You may avoid them when you get behind the wheel. Even so, you can be seriously injured when someone else causes an accident. You can't avoid all distracted drivers, but you can find out what steps to take to seek financial compensation.

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