Distracted driving has been one of the main causes of car accidents for the past decade or so. Operating a vehicle demands an immense amount of attention. However, as you get more experienced and comfortable with driving, you might find yourself more willing to turn your attention to something else. But no matter how experienced you are, the more you become distracted while driving, the more you risk being involved in a car accident.
The following are the most common causes of distracted driving in Oklahoma and the rest of the United States:
- Cellphone use – Whether it is talking on your cellphone (even if you use a hands-free device) or texting, cellphone use is by far the most common reason for distracted driving accidents. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 26 percent of all car accidents involve cellphones.
- Talking to passengers – Engaging in a riveting conversation with a passenger can take your eyes and attention away from the primary task of driving. Turning to look at your passenger may feel like the right thing to do in a conversation, but not when you’re on the road.
- Grooming – Whether it’s applying makeup or brushing your teeth, many people attempt to groom themselves to avoid being late for work or an important appointment. Since these activities take your eyes off the road and your hands away from the wheel, they can easily result in crashes.
- Eating or drinking – Using your car as a moving restaurant can come with serious risks. A significant amount of distracted driving accidents were caused by either eating or drinking. Instead of eating in your vehicle, just consume your food at the place where you purchased it or in your home.
- Adjusting the audio and climate controls – While it may seem like a minor task to push a button or tow, it can still divide your attention—especially when you must look away from the road to do so. Something that small can result in a serious accident.
- GPS – Many of us have become dependent on navigation systems to get us to where we want to go and avoid getting lost in the process. However, constantly glancing down at your device can result in disaster. If you are going to use one, ensure that it is mounted where you can easily see it and rely on the audio commands instead of constantly looking at the screen.
- Spacing out – Detaching from reality can prove useful if you wish to recharge your energy or take a break from a hectic day. But doing so while you’re driving can be fatal.