Distractions While Driving that Increase Risk of Car Accidents

There will always be distractions in everything that we do. No matter how much effort and focus we have, something else will always get our attention. Whether in household chores, work, or hobbies, our minds will drift somewhere else. However, things should be different when we are on the road. 

Distractions while driving or crossing the road can be fatal. In recent years, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that over 30,000 people died in road accidents. Sadly, even the pandemic lockdowns were not able to reduce road fatalities. With that, we will take a look at some common distractions while driving and how we can avoid accidents. 

Introduction to Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus away from safe driving. It includes phones and anything that diverts attention away from  the road. In 2010-2011, it caused at least 85 fatal crashes in Florida. A study in The New York Times found that texting while driving could increase collision risk by 23 times

Despite stringent law enforcement, the problem persisted across the state. In Miami alone, car accidents exceed 60,000 every year. Yet, it is apparent that distraction while driving remains one of the top causes. Hence, programs like Vision Zero Initiative aim to eliminate fatalities by 2030. 

In Florida, distracted driving fatalities increased from 219 to 267 in 2015-2019. In 2020, distracted driving crashes remained high at 48,537 despite the lockdowns. Worse, fatalities reached 308, a 15% increase from the previous year. As of June 2021, there were already 121 reported distracted driving fatalities. 

In a survey in Florida this year, 90% of teens use their smartphones while on the road. It is even more alarming because they are texting while driving at an average speed of 55 mph. Other driving distractions that surfaced were eating and drinking and putting on makeup. To know more about it, here are the three primary types of distractions. 

  • Visual: This is when you take your eyes off the road.
  • Manual: This is when you remove your hands from the wheel.
  • Cognitive: This is when your mind is too preoccupied with other things.

Common Examples of Driving Distractions

Many hazards can cause road accidents. These include unforeseen roadblocks, malfunctioning traffic lights, and sun glare at times. Other contributors were car problems, particularly with brakes and tires. Despite this, there are a few hazards that a driver can avoid and control. 

Cell Phone Use While Driving

It is known that cell phone distraction while driving is a top cause of road accidents. It is prevalent among most teens, as a recent Florida survey shows. Driving at 55 mph while texting equates to driving the length of a football field with eyes closed. Hence, they are less likely to notice road hazards that can cause accidents. Statistics show that 481,000 drivers use phones while driving in broad daylight.

Eating and Drinking While Driving

This is still common among teens, but many working adults are guilty of it as well. Often, they eat  their breakfast in their car if they are running late or they are otherwise in a rush. This usually equates to being simultaneously involved in many activities  and includes holding the wheel while balancing things and sipping coffee.

Putting on Makeup and Grooming

In recent slang, putting on makeup while driving is called farding. No law prohibits this act. Yet, authorities discourage it because it appears similar to the previous two bullets. 

Conversations With Passengers 

Everyone is guilty of it, especially when we are traveling with family or friends. During long drives, talking to them will keep us awake and focused in the middle of the night. Yet, we tend to lose focus when we are too engrossed in our conversations. Arguing can be even more dangerous. 

Adjusting Car Controls

Adjusting car controls does not always appear to be a distraction. But, you may be busy looking for a song in your playlist while driving or changing CDs. Climate control is also something you adjust during extreme hot or cold weather. As such, doing these things may lead to road collisions. 

Looking Away from the Road 

Looking away from the road is a broad category. This includes distractions other than anything mentioned above. A two-phased study named 100-Car Study analyzed the behavior of different drivers. The study found that 70-90% of road crashes were due to drivers not looking at the road. They were either distracted or falling asleep. 

What to Do After a Car Accident in Miami

Get To Safety After the Car Accident

If you can move freely, get to safety as fast as you can. Car crashes can cause more injuries from fires to broken glass. 

Document The Car Accident

Get a copy of important documents. These are medical bills, insurance company and policy, details of vehicles, and location. 

Identify the Officers and Get a Copy

You have to determine the responding officers. These include the police and medical staff. They can stand as witnesses in case of lawsuits.

Take Pictures and Videos

Take pictures and videos as evidence. 

Exchange Information

Exchange information, including your insurance provider and policy number. This will help process things faster, especially in settlements. 

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a distracted driver, contact the legal team at Diamond & Diamond. Our team can ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.


Pro Tip

“Whenever driving, do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors to watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Get in Touch with An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney 

There are many visual distractions while driving. These can cause accidents leading to injuries and even fatalities. If you have been in a distracted driving accident, contact Diamond and Diamond today. Our experts will discuss your options for legal recourse. You can reach us via our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-4878 (HURT).

FAQs About Distractions While Driving

Distracted driving takes away our attention from the wheel and the road. As such, we tend to miss certain  objects and cues. Distractions can endanger you and everyone else on the road. This can lead to injuries and fatalities.

Engaging in activities other than  driving can increase driving risks. These include eating and drinking, texting, and putting on makeup.

Over 60,000 road accidents happen in Miami every year. Distracted driving is the top contributor. Moreso, almost 70% of adult drivers are distracted by their phones while driving.