10 Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving

It’s estimated that distracted driving results in 25% of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the United States. While that number may not seem surprising, what exactly causes these distractions? Of course, cell phone use and eating and drinking are the usual suspects, but data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which surveys all American motor vehicle fatalities, shows other surprising causes of distracted driving. Check out the top 10 list below.

  1. Lost in thought: Surprisingly, the biggest distraction (making up 62% of accidents) is daydreaming. A wandering mind, even just for a few seconds, can make it impossible to break in time or get out of the way of a pedestrian in the road.
  2. Cell phone use: The biggest external factor is cell phone use, occurring about 12% of the time in fatal collisions. This includes talking on the phone, listening to something on the phone, dialing, texting and using the internet. While there are hands-free devices, they can still result in accidents.
  3. Outside person, object, or event: The next biggest distractor is when the driver pays attention to something outside of the car that’s not the road, occurring 7% of the time. Examples include other accidents, a billboard, people, and parking spots.
  4. Car passengers: Other people in the car can be distracting, whether it’s verbally or physically. That’s why it’s the 4th cause of fatal distracted driving accidents, at 5%.
  5. Reaching for a device in the car: Yes, cell phone use in general tops the list, but simply reaching for a device is 5th on the list, occurring 2% of the time.

Rounding out the list is eating and drinking (2%), adjusting audio or climate control (2%), using controls to operate the vehicle (1%), moving objects (1%), and smoking related (1%). If you have been involved in a car accident, contact our Orange County personal injury lawyers at Law Office of Marshall Silberberg.

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