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common causes of distracted drivingBeing able to text, respond to emails, eat that tasty breakfast, or chat with passengers while driving without having to worry about the road may seem like a dream come true to many, and it isn’t far from being a reality with self-driving vehicles becoming more prominent. However, with the current state of the majority of vehicles on the road and their requirement for a driver and their full attention, those dreams will have to stay just that—dreams.

So, What Does This Mean?

This means that without the luxury of autonomous vehicles allowing us to partake in “distracting” activities on the road, we are putting ourselves, our passengers, and other drivers on the road at risk for an accident. All it takes is letting our eyes off the road for a few seconds while we take a sip of coffee or reply to a text to cause an accident.

How Can I Prevent These Common Causes of Distracted Driving?

While the ultimate answer to preventing these common causes of distracted driving would be to stop doing them while driving and allow yourself to focus completely on the road, the truth is that life happens when we least expect it. When we see our phone ring “Mom” you may ask yourself, “Is everything ok? Are you hurt? Is the family ok?” Because of these racing thoughts, we feel this sense of urgency to answer, which in return causes distractions.

Since there aren’t always ways to completely prevent distracted drivers, knowing which distractions tend to be the most dangerous may help you avoid those specific actions while behind the wheel.

4 Common Causes of Distracted Driving

1. Texting

In a world driven by our mobile phones, it’s no surprise to see texting on the list as one of the most common culprits for distracted driving. Texting while driving is dangerous because it requires hand-eye coordination, as does driving. This means you will only be able to focus on one or the other, which is unsafe for obvious reasons.

How to prevent:

There is a setting on most phones called “Do Not Disturb”. This setting comes in handy when stepping behind the wheel. It silences your phone’s notifications so that you won’t feel the need to check them while driving. Alternately, you can agree to not use your phone while driving.

2. Distracting Passengers

Texting while driving is distracting enough, but a rowdy passenger with a mobile phone is often worse. We have all been there, on the way to the beach with our friends in the back, they find something funny online and all begin to laugh. Next thing you know they have their phone in your face demanding you to look at it.

How to prevent:

While it is polite to give those who you are talking to your attention, it is important to respect the rules of the road and to put your full attention and focus on the road.

3. Changing GPS

“Left turn in 30 feet,” your navigation app tells you, as you blow past the street you were supposed to turn on. We have all been here one time or another. You quickly fiddle with your phone to get yourself back on track, taking your attention off the road while doing so. While we agree, GPS systems are a must-have for many drivers, it’s important to adjust them when it is safe to do so.

How to prevent:

If your route gets messed up from missing a route or making a wrong turn, don’t just adjust it on the fly. Be sure to pull over to a safe place and adjust while parked.

4. Eating Behind the Wheel

Many of us commute to work each day and to save time, we are often having breakfast on the road. While this doesn’t seem like a dangerous thing to do, it very much is and is one of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents.

How to prevent:

Since eating while driving is often done due to a lack of time, it’s important to plan properly. Waking up 10 minutes earlier so that you can eat at home, or in your car, if you get fast food, will help keep you distraction-free on the road.

Were You Injured Due to a Distracted Driver? Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Can Help!

At SJ Injury Attorneys, our team of staunch Houston personal injury lawyers has many years of experience with helping our clients seek the compensation they deserve due to the negligence of others. Distracted driving is often completely preventable and it’s important to hold those guilty responsible.

If you were injured in an auto accident, contact us today to discuss your case during a free case evaluation.

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