If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Phones are a distraction in the car. Drivers should put them down, turn them off or simply ignore them while behind the wheel.
Despite the fact that many people ignore this advice, it is good advice and you’d be wise to keep it in mind. However, you also do not want to assume that distraction starts and ends with your phone. There are many other distractions that can lead to an accident.
Staying focused on the road
The key to safe driving, in many ways, is staying focused on the road. It doesn’t matter if it’s a phone that takes your attention away or if it’s something else. Any loss of focus can cause a crash. People are sometimes surprised to learn that the following are serious distractions:
- Having children in the car with you, whether you are a parent, a grandparent or a caregiver.
- Having the radio on while you drive. Not only can adjusting the radio take your attention away from the road, but the very act of listening to music can be distracting.
- Adjusting any of the systems that are built into your car. Examples include your mirrors, the GPS, your seat belts and even the positioning of your chair.
- Thinking about other things and allowing your mind to wander. This distraction is incredibly common and difficult to avoid, as your mind often wanders entirely on its own.
- Drinking a cup of coffee while you drive. Coffee is a staple of morning commuters and late-night drivers, but just picking it up to take a drink can cause an accident.
- Eating food behind the wheel. One could make the argument that drive-thru windows are a major risk, as they promote eating on the go.
The next time you have to share the road with someone who is on their phone, it’s important to keep your distance and drive defensively. But remember that many of the drivers around you are also distracted, even if it’s not obvious.
These drivers can cause accidents that leave you with serious injuries. You may need to seek out financial compensation to cover all of your costs.