Traffic accidents are a leading cause of accident-related disability and death in the United States. Each year over 40,000 deaths occur in traffic accidents throughout the country, resulting in serious physical and emotional harm, lasting disability, death, and property damage. Traffic collisions result from multiple factors, including but not limited to reckless driving, mechanical issues, texting or calling while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, driver fatigue, and more. One major cause of such accidents is distracted driving, which refers to the dangerous practice of performing an attention-consuming activity behind the wheel. Activities like using a smartphone, operating the media console, eating, drinking, or talking to other passengers can take a driver’s attention away from the road and pose a serious threat to the safety of every driver and passenger. Read on as we take a closer look at the leading causes of traffic accidents resulting from the negligence of distracted drivers.
Using a Smartphone
The use of a smartphone while driving is inarguably one of the biggest causes of distracted driving accidents in the United States. Although texting and driving are illegal in Florida, most drivers blatantly disregard this traffic regulation. Even something seemingly innocuous as listening to a call or leaving a voicemail can take a driver’s attention off the road and put everyone in immense danger. There is no text or message necessary for you to take your attention off the road. Make sure you are aware of what’s going on.
Eating or Drinking
If you wake up late and grab a sandwich and coffee on your way to work, you might not think much of it and eat it behind the wheel. This practice is extremely dangerous because it not only diverts your concentration from the road traffic but also requires the use of one or both hands along with your vision. It is particularly dangerous when a driver attempts to eat or drink while navigating a challenging terrain or driving through dense traffic on the road. Save that extra bite for when you are not moving so you are not putting other people’s lives in danger.
Talking to Passengers
Although having a passenger in the car is good to keep yourself awake and alert, talking to them might be dangerous as it also constitutes a distraction. It is especially dangerous when a driver has an emotionally charged conversation or argument with another passenger, which can divert their attention from the road signs and put them at risk of a deadly traffic collision. Make sure your conversations aren’t too distracting or flashy. As much as it is fun to talk to your friends it’s always important to keep your attention on the road.
Operating the Media Console
Simply changing the radio or switching between different songs on the media console is enough to impair your concentration and take your attention off the road. Manipulating the controls on your console should always be left for when you are at a traffic stop or stopped along the side of the road, as doing it while driving can result in unnecessary and harmful distractions from the traffic. Your hands need to be on the wheel and your eyes need to be always on the road. Even if the song is annoying or you want to change it, wait for a time when you are stationary.
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous causes of traffic accidents in the United States, including Florida. Whether using your smartphone, eating, or drinking behind the wheel, manipulating controls on your media console, or talking to other passengers in your vehicle, any form of distraction can take your attention off the road and put everyone in danger of traffic collisions. Distracted driving is common, especially in today’s world that’s filled with loads of distractions. Make sure you are aware of what is going on around you and keep your attention alert for others.