We all know that distracted driving is an enormous problem in the United States; experts say that driving while distracted — whether by texts, apps, or even just a phone call — accounts for some 16% of all fatal car crashes.
However, some of the ways that drivers are being distracted while behind the wheel may surprise you. Here are some causes of distracted driving that you may not have considered:
That Juicy Hamburger
We spend so much time in our cars that it’s inevitable we’re going to partake of a meal behind the wheel every once in a while. However, there are multiple ways in which eating on the go can distract you from the task at hand. From unwrapping your burger or putting hot sauce on that taco, to spilling hot coffee on your lap and trying to locate enough napkins to clean up the mess you just made, food and beverages can be very dangerous indeed.
If you start feeling hunger pangs while on a road trip, do the smart thing and stop to eat. Even if you just consume your chicken nuggets in the restaurant’s parking lot, taking a break to eat could save your life.
Snapchatting Behind the Wheel
Did you know that the popular app Snapchat — which allows users to send pictures and videos to their friends — has a “speed” filter? That’s right; users can add the speed at which they’re driving to their Snap, essentially showing off to others how fast they’re going. In recent months, this dangerous aspect of social media has been behind multiple accidents, some of them fatal.
The takeaway here is simple: don’t Snapchat and drive. Put the phone away until you’re parked. If you absolutely need the phone to make a call or use GPS, employ a hands-free device.
Your Human and Animal Riders
You’ve probably seen the bumper stickers that say “Dog is my co-pilot,” but it turns out that having a canine companion in the car with you can be very distracting. The same, unfortunately, is true when it comes to children. Whether you’re turning around to referee a sibling spat that’s taking place in the backseat or attempting to keep your dog from chewing the seat belt, any time you take your attention away from the road, you’re putting yourself at risk.
Of course, you can’t always leave the dog at home, and young children pretty much have to go with you in the car. However, you can use common sense and keep the discipline to a minimum when you’re going 65 mph.
If you do get into a fender bender or more serious crash, you can turn to collision repair in Mesa to get your car back to its original condition.
It’s best to avoid accidents altogether, however, so do everything in your power to not distract yourself when you’re on the road. Keep your phone in your purse, tell the kids to behave themselves, and don’t snack when you’re speeding down the highway.