Published On: Wed, Jul 19th, 2023

What Are the Biggest Distractions to Drivers?

Distracted driving amounts to any non-driving activity that influences a driver to deviate their mind or attention from the primary task of driving. Often, distracted driving may take the form of visual distraction, manual distraction, or cognitive distraction. “Whether or not other cars are near the driver, any form of distracted driving is incredibly dangerous,” says Attorney Arren Waldrep of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. 

The good news is that understanding the possible sources of distracted driving can help you protect yourself and other road users while on the road. So, what are some of the most common distractions to drivers?

driving car

Image/Free-Photos via pixabay

Eating or Drinking

Most drivers have fallen prey to the habit of eating and drinking while behind the wheel. Unknown to them, food and drinks are responsible for many traffic accidents and near misses. 

If, by any chance, you must eat or drink while driving and you cannot afford to stop, the least you can do is to pick sensible food and drink choices. Common sense dictates that you do not place a flimsy cup on your groin, assuming that you are drinking coffee or a fountain drink. 

Using the Phone       

As a driver, a helpful rule of thumb is that you should put your phone as far away as possible when driving. Using your phone while driving diverts your attention from the road, increasing the chances of an accident. 

Texting is more dangerous as you are 23 times more likely to crash. In addition, the simple act of reaching for your device while driving makes you 1.4 times more likely to crash. The solution to all these is simple: always keep it hands-free when driving and if you need to make that call, pull over.

Conversations with Vehicle Occupants

While it is not unusual to converse with your passengers, it should not be to the extent that you pay more attention to them than the road ahead. Believe it or not, conversations account for about 5% of distracted driving accidents. 

Therefore, avoid conversations with passengers even if it means asking them to remain silent. If you have to participate in a conversation, make your contribution minimal and do not take your mind or eyes off the road.


Traveling with your pet can be a potential source of distraction. Always ensure that you place your fluffy friend in a proper pet enclosure, or if you have a station wagon, you can let them ride in the boot. Avoid driving the car while your dog or cat is seated on your lap. While it might seem cool to do so, such a move can be a recipe for disaster. 

Adjusting Vehicle Controls  

A handful of drivers get distracted because they take their eyes off the road to fiddle with the radio, adjust climate control settings, or adjust their mirrors. As a responsible driver, a good way to avoid this kind of distraction is by adjusting all your settings before you start driving. If you need to make additional changes before you get to your destination, have a passenger do it for you or pull over in a safe place and adjust it yourself. 

Author: Anu T

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