Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents each year. It’s easy for anyone to have their attention turned away from the road just long enough to force them collide with another car, person, or object. Most people are familiar with the major causes of distracted driving accidents, one of them being when drivers attempt to use their cell phones while driving. People may try to text, use social media, and/or talk on the phone, which makes them look away from the road and drive one-handed.
Other common causes of distracted driving accidents include eating or drinking and adjusting the radio/music. These actions usually reduce the driver’s control of the vehicle and make it likelier to get in a crash. But these aren’t the only ways a driver can be distracted. Here are some of the more uncommon ways drivers of passenger vehicles and riders of motorcycles get distracted from their task of keeping themselves and others on the road safe:
The Lesser Known Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
Safe, cautious driving is one of the best ways to avoid getting into a crash. But even if you’ve turned off your cell phone, already set the radio to a station you like, and don’t have other distractions like food in the car, there are still ways that distractions can make you get into an accident.
The following are some lesser-known distractions you should be aware of:
- Gawking. Distractions can occur at any moment on the side of the road. People may see beautiful scenery, animals, or they may even be distracted by roadside collisions. No matter the reason, when a driver is distracted by something off the road, they’re not paying attention to traffic in front of them. They may not brake in time and collide with the car in front of them or start to veer off the road.
- Full Cars. When someone is driving a car full of passengers, they have more reasons to get distracted. The driver may be focused on a conversation or the passengers may be too loud for them to concentrate properly. Inexperienced drivers, especially teenagers, may have difficulty driving with multiple people in their car. They may benefit from starting off on their own and gradually becoming comfortable with more people in the car as they get more experience.
- Insects. A sudden buzzing in your ear or feeling something crawling on your arm may startle you and make you immediately do anything to get the bug away from you. This is fine when you’re outside, but when you’re in a car, a spasm to get rid of a bug could make you jerk your steering wheel or slam on the brakes in the middle of busy traffic. If there is a bug in your car that you need to get rid of, pull over safely and deal with the matter then.
- Exhaustion. Tired drivers traveling to work or school in the morning may not be fully alert yet. Driving after a long day may make a driver sleepy as well. When a driver isn’t alert, there’s a chance their reactions will be slower and their decision-making process may not be as clear. This may cause them to be come distracted by things that may not otherwise distract them.
- Arguments. It can be distracting to have a conversation with someone in the car while driving, but it can be even more distracting—and dangerous—to be arguing with someone in the vehicle. Being upset or otherwise overly emotional can make it more difficult to focus on simple tasks like driving. If you feel you’re not in a steady emotional state to drive, you should pull over and finish the argument, set it aside, or take a break to cool off down before resuming the drive.
Distractions occur in many forms. What you need to remember is that when anything takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or attention from the road, it counts as a distraction. Knowing more about distractions could help you avoid them in the future and make the road safer for all Maryland drivers.
If you have any questions about a claim involving a distracted driver, contact our firm today and schedule a free consultation of your case.