To many people, distracted driving is synonymous with texting at the wheel. While there’s little question that mobile phone use while driving is dangerous, it is far from the only kind of distraction that leaves to major motor vehicle collisions.
There are multiple other forms of distraction that do not involve any kind of screen whatsoever. If you can identify other distracted drivers on the road, you can keep yourself much safer.
Having a heated or animated conversation
People do all sorts of things to make their daily commute pass more quickly. They might call a family member to talk on the phone or start analyzing their favorite television show with their passenger. Unfortunately, intense conversations at the wheel often directly contribute to someone’s risk of getting into a crash because it mentally distracts the driver and may also take their eyes off the road.
Eating or drinking
Plenty of people try to eat their breakfast on their way to work or quickly consume their lunch while running errands on a break from their job. Eating doesn’t just take your hands off the wheel but also your mind off of the task of driving. The same is true of drinking. People drinking at the wheel will take longer to respond to sudden changes in traffic.
A surprising number of people waste time thinking about their appearance while they drive. You might spot someone buttoning a shirt, applying makeup or even shaving while driving in heavy traffic.
If you spot people doing any of these things, it is usually in your best interest to give them more space so that they don’t end up hitting you if they lose control of their vehicle. Understanding the different forms of distraction can help you hold someone accountable if they caused a crash that injures you.