Distracted driving often plays a major role in car accidents, with thousands of people injured or losing their lives each year because of it. According to the National Safety Council, more than 3,000 people died in 2020 from crashes caused by distracted drivers.
While cell phone use continues to lead the way in distracted driving crash cases, other distractions can cause serious or even deadly crashes as well.
1. Unrestrained pets
Many people enjoy taking their pets with them on road trips or even on quick errands around town. While both pets and their owners might enjoy traveling together, having an unrestrained pet in the car can cause a serious accident. Pets can prevent drivers from braking if they get loose around their feet or jump into their owner’s lap, obstructing their vision. Leashing or buckling pets in can prevent a distracted driving accident.
2. Eating and drinking
Many people eat and drink while they drive, and fast food restaurants and drive-thru lanes make it easier than ever to grab food on the go. However, hot drinks and spilled food can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle or fail to notice a stop sign. Keeping food and drinks wrapped up until later lowers the risk of an accident.
Not all driving distractions have connections with tangible objects, such as emotion. Driving while crying, angry or upset over an argument with a spouse can cause considerable distractions and an eventual accident.
Conversations with passengers can also cause distractions, especially those that cause strong emotions. Drivers may want to check their surroundings in a vehicle before pulling into traffic and remove any possible distractions.