Each day in the U.S., approximately 9 people die and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted driving, says the CDC.
Distracted driving caused 2,841 deaths in 2018, including 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists, reports the NHTSA.
And while it’s true that “other” drivers often cause accidents, each of us is responsible for being the safest and most alert driver we can be. When we share the road, we share the responsibility to protect everyone on it as best we can.
Just a few seconds of distraction is enough to cause an accident that could result in serious injuries, lifelong disabilities, or death here at home in Shreveport, LA.
Successfully removing distractions starts with identifying distractions and understanding just how serious each one is.
The Main Types of Distraction
Anything that causes you to give less attention to driving is a distraction that endangers you and others. There are three main types of distraction, says the CDC.
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your mind off the road
Texting while driving combines all three types of distraction, making it particularly unsafe. At a speed of 55 mph, looking away from the road for 5 seconds means we cover the length of a football field without knowing what’s happening around us.
So, besides the notorious cellphone, what are the most serious distracted driving culprits?
SafeStart rates the top 10 worst causes of distracted driving and gives the percentage of accidents that resulted from each.
- #10: Smoking – including lighting a cigarette or putting out a cigarette causes 1% of distracted driving accidents.
- #9: Moving objects. Have you ever spent the majority of your morning commute trying to get rid of an unwelcome insect in your car? Or what about your pet demanding your attention? Moving objects in your car contribute to 1% of distracted driving accidents.
- #8: Using devices that operate the vehicle – actions like putting on a seatbelt or adjusting mirrors causes 1% of distracted driving accidents. Doing these tasks before getting on the road can cut down on accidents and keep everyone safer.
- #7: Changing audio or air controls. Just taking a few seconds to adjust the radio or change the climate in your car can distract drivers enough to contribute to 2% of distracted driving accidents.
- #6: Eating and drinking. It’s tempting to think you’ll be saving time by finishing your breakfast in the car or even just getting a quick coffee for your commute. But eating and drinking while driving leads to 2% of distracted driving accidents. That should be enough to make you think twice about eating that bagel behind the wheel.
- #5: Using or reaching for a device that you brought into the car. This doesn’t just mean composing a text to your boss. Just reaching for your phone or another device causes 2% of distracted driving accidents.
- #4: Other people in the car. This means kids crying in the backseat, friends chatting in the passenger seat, or even your dog who you turn your head to check on. The attention drivers give to other occupants leads to 5% of distracted driving accidents.
- #3: What’s going on outside. Looking at objects, people, and events outside your car requires considerable attention, enough to contribute to 7% of distracted driving accidents. Don’t cause another accident by rubbernecking.
- #2: Cell Phone use. Perhaps the most infamous cause of distracted driving. Unfortunately, many people use their final words in life on a text or phone call that could have waited. Even hands-free options cause distractions that contribute to 12% of distracted driving accidents. There are very few calls or texts that are worth risking lives for.
- #1: Getting “lost in thought.” Just because you don’t text and drive doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! Turns out that general distraction such as letting your mind wander causes a chart-topping 62% of distracted driving accidents.
Start Making the Roads Safer
Hopefully, these stats encourage you to think twice before letting your attention go to something besides driving. Besides removing and minimizing your own distractions, another effective way to help prevent car accidents in the Shreveport area is to speak up and lead by example. If you see someone driving while distracted, remind them of the consequences of just a few seconds of distraction. And lead by example for your friends, family, coworkers, and community!
If You’re Injured Because of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is negligence. And if someone else’s negligence causes you injury, you can sue for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney at Campbell, House, & Company to get started. Call our Shreveport, LA office at or message us online.
1815 Roselawn Ave
Monroe, LA 71201