Distracted driving endangers not only those behind the wheel but also their passengers, fellow road occupants and pedestrians. In fact, drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, a statistic that has led to them being banned in 11 states.
As a recent report from Erie Insurance shows, the consequences of distracted driving can also be tragic. Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction was cited. To reinforce good driving behaviors during April (which has been designated National Distracted Driving Awareness Month) and beyond, Erie enumerates the 10 deadliest distractions and how to avoid them. Although texting while driving (TWD) poses an enormous crash risk, with young adults listed as the most notorious offenders, it surprisingly did not claim the top spot on the insurer’s list.
10. Smoking-related (includes smoking, lighting up, putting ashes in tray)
9. Moving objects (pets or insects)
8. Using other device or controls integral to the vehicle
7. Adjusting audio or climate controls
6. Eating or drinking
5. Using or reaching for device brought into vehicle, such as navigational device or headphones
4. Other occupants (talking with or looking at other people in the car)
3. Outside person, object or event (such as rubbernecking)
2. Cell phone use (talking, listening, dialing, texting)
1. Generally distracted or “lost in thought”
We all need to keep our attention when driving, with summer just around the corner and vacations and trips being planned keep aware of the top 10 and make it back home safe and sound!