Distracted driving is not just about cell phone usage. Distractions can include such seemingly innocent behavior as conversation and listening to music. While it is unlikely that people will stop talking to their passengers or listening to music while behind the wheel, it is important for California drivers to understand the dangers of distracted driving.
Distractions and fatalities
While it is usually easy to assess with a test whether alcohol was a factor in an accident, when it comes to distracted driving, these assessments are less clear-cut. For example, some may rely on self-reporting about what a driver was doing when the accident happened, and people might not always be honest about this. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that in 2018, more than 2,800 people died in accidents in which distraction was a factor.
Knowing some of the most common distractions can help you avoid or at least reduce them and drive more safely. Besides cell phone usage, some of the other causes of distracted driving that could lead to car accidents include smoking, eating and drinking, adjusting the music or other devices in the vehicle and daydreaming. You can break yourself of the temptation to use your phone when you are driving by putting it away when you get behind the wheel. If you have to send a text or take a call, you should pull over. Setting up your navigation beforehand and making sure any children or pets are secured can also help. In general, you should resolve not to eat, drink or multitask.
It is important to remember that while driving might be something you do so often that it feels automatic, it still requires your full attention. Avoiding distraction also protects you from other drivers who are engaging in dangerous behavior.