Distracted driving feels a bit like the status quo these days. We all technically agree that it’s important to pay attention to the road, but all too often succumb to the lure of checking our phone, applying makeup, or grabbing a snack. All three behaviors are dangerous, as we explain below:
Mobile devices are among the most common sources of distraction behind the wheel. Texting is an obvious culprit, but using navigation apps or even chatting on the phone can be problematic. Increasingly, many drivers also use social media while operating vehicles, with some even adding to Instagram Stories or recording TikTok videos behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that cell phone use accounted for 3,142 deaths in 2019. What’s more, NHTSA data points to over 26,000 deaths prompted by distracted drivers between 2012 and 2019.
Many drivers rely on their car as a vanity of sorts, with the rearview or sun visor mirror providing a quick spot to touch up mascara or lipstick before work or social engagements. Not only does this behavior lead to distracted driving, it makes it difficult to spot potential hazards. People who apply makeup often adjust their rearview mirrors to make their faces more visible. This ultimately limits road visibility.
When you’re short on time, snacks, meals, and caffeine intake quickly become commute-based rituals. Unfortunately, these habits can be dangerous.
Like makeup and cell phones, food and beverages take our attention away from the road. Some foods are riskier than others; NHTSA references coffee, soft drinks, and soups as among the most dangerous.
Tagged auto accidents, distracted driving, DrivingSafety