Distracted driving is a broad topic covering a range of activities. Most of them are obvious and can be witnessed by other drivers on the road. People who multitask by having conversations, texting, emailing, and applying makeup or shaving while driving are easy to spot. There are other distractions that might not be quite so obvious.
Here are eight inciting events you might not have considered all that distracting:
- Driving while angry or sad: One of the three types of driving distractions is “cognitive.” If you are not mentally focused on the road, you can become distracted and inattentive.
- Your favorite song: Studies have shown that the type of music you listen to, in addition to the volume, can affect your driving.
- Your dog: Pet owners love taking their dogs for a ride. Unfortunately, drivers often pet, feed or even let them sit on their laps while operating the vehicle.
- Kids: Parents don’t stop being parents while behind the wheel. Often, children need scolding, fed or talked to which can all distract the driver from the safe operation of the vehicle.
- Hands-free technology: Even without holding a cell phone to your ear while having a conversation, you are still engaged in an activity other than driving. Hands-free technology might make you slightly safer, but the risk of collision still exists.
- Holding a full bladder: Having to use the restroom can be both a mental distraction and a physical one.
- Reaching for things in the backseat: Drivers will likely look for a lost object and remove their hands from the steering wheel to retrieve it. Depending on the stretch involved, the driver might also take his or her feet away from the gas and brake pedals.
- Eating while driving: It is one of the most common, longest-enduring, activities on the list. Dining and driving. Not only do drivers take their hands off the steering wheel to eat, but they might also look at the food to select their next bite or stretch over into the passenger seat to clean up a mess – all while driving.
Distracted driving injures thousands of people each year and can prove fatal for those involved in serious collisions. Many states have instituted cell phone laws prohibiting drivers from talking other than on a hands-free device while others have broadened existing violations to include distracting activities or inattentive driving. Even with the legal ramifications of distracted driving, these activities haven’t stopped. If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, do not hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.