You probably know that distracted driving is dangerous. You probably also know that smartphones have dramatically increased the problems with distracted driving out there – which is why many areas have banned or limited the use of cellular devices behind the wheel.
What you may not know, however, is that there are plenty of other common behaviors that can also lead to distracted driving accidents. Here are a few of them:
Eating and drinking
Eating and drinking while driving is so customary these days that people can be forgiven for thinking it’s harmless, but it can be a significant distraction. When you are focused on your food or drink, you are not paying attention to the road, and your reaction time may be slowed. Spilling a hot drink or dropping food in your lap can also lead to sudden and dangerous movements of the car.
As much as your dog may love hanging their head out the car window when it’s in motion, unrestrained pets in a car can be a significant distraction. They may be jumping around or trying to sit on your lap, which can make it difficult to keep your eyes on the road. They may even bump the steering wheel when you’re trying to navigate.
GPS devices are designed to help drivers navigate, but fiddling with the GPS while driving can take your eyes off the road. Plus, if you are relying on the device to give you directions, you may not be paying attention to your surroundings the way that you should.
When you are lost in thought, you may not be paying attention to the road or other drivers around you. “Zoning out” can also be a symptom of driver fatigue, which creates even more danger.
Adjusting the radio
Changing the radio station while driving may seem utterly harmless, but taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to adjust the volume or station can be dangerous, particularly if you need to react suddenly to something in the road.
While you can minimize the chances that you’ll be involved in a distracted driving wreck by eliminating your own problematic behaviors, there’s not much you can do about everybody else on the road. If you end up in a wreck due to another party’s mistakes, find out more about your legal options.