Did you know that distracted driving is one of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents around the world? In fact, as many as 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents may be caused by distracted driving. But why do people get distracted when they are driving?
An insurance company in Pennsylvania had the same question. It analyzed data from the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System to try to determine the causes of distractions. The results were startling. Here is what they found are the top 10 causes of distracted driving:
- Moving objects: When we are driving, something might begin to move inside the car that draws the driver’s attention. It may be an insect, a pet, or even a child. Such distractions account for one percent of automobile accidents.
- Smoking: About one percent of accidents may be caused by smoking, lighting a cigarette, or putting a cigarette out while driving.
- Using operational controls: Adjusting the seatbelts, neck rest, or mirrors during the drive accounts for about one percent of car accidents.
- Eating and drinking: Eating and drinking while driving causes about two percent of distracted driving accidents.
- Adjusting comfort or entertainment controls: Using basic controls for creature comforts, such as changing the radio station or adjusting the air conditioning leads to about two percent of distractions.
- Reaching for a cell phone: Much has been written about distracted driving while using a cell phone. But did you know that just reaching for your phone can be a distraction? The study found that this is responsible for up to two percent of all distracted driving.
- Other occupants of the car: When you are driving with another person in the passenger seat or in the backseat, that person may interfere with your concentration. These incidents are responsible for five percent of all distracted driving-related accidents.
- Outside events, objects or persons: Looking at people or things outside is a big distraction. It may be as simple as looking at people in another car or even looking at another accident. Such incidents are responsible for seven percent of crashes caused by distracted driving.
- Cell phone use: The study found that the second biggest cause of distracted driving crashes is talking on a cell phone when you are driving. You might be surprised to learn that speaking on a cell phone when you are driving is responsible for 12 percent of all distraction-related motor vehicle accidents.
And the number one cause of distracted driving is . . .
- Lost in thought: The number one reason people get distracted when they are driving is because they get lost in their thoughts. Around 62% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by people who were just generally distracted.
Knowing the dangers of distracted driving, why do so many people do it? The authors propose that the answer is complacency. As people drive more without incidents, they become complacent and think they can do more than one thing at a time.
Distracted driving causes accidents that kill and injure innocent victims. If you or a family member has been severely injured or killed in an incident with a distracted driver, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888-777-1776. Initial consultations are free and confidential.