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Forms of distraction, other than texting, that can cause crashes

Pretty much everyone knows that texting while driving is a very dangerous choice to make. You could look down at your phone for a few seconds and drive the length of an entire football field without watching the road around you.

Just because you don’t pull out your phone while you’re driving, that doesn’t mean you’ve successfully avoided distraction. There are many other common activities that people engage in at the wheel that are also very dangerous. What are other forms of distraction that you should avoid and watch for in others?

Driving is a task that requires your full attention

Safely operating a motor vehicle requires that you not only monitor your vehicle, its control panel and your speed but also your surroundings, which will constantly change.

You need to keep your eyes on the road ahead of you, both hands on the wheel and your mind focused on your safety. Any action that prevents you from driving attentively is a form of distraction.

Common behaviors while driving that might increase your risk of a distraction-related crashed include:

  • singing along to the radio
  • making a phone call, even hands-free
  • talking to your passengers
  • eating or drinking
  • brushing your teeth
  • styling your hair
  • applying makeup
  • adjusting controls in the vehicle
  • reaching into the backseat or the front passenger area

Anything that takes your focus off of the road could increase your reaction time and chances of a crash. Avoiding these actions yourself can help you stay safer. Being able to identify them in other vehicles could help you hold someone else accountable for their dangerous habits if they cause a crash with your vehicle.