Every day, distracted driving kills more than 15 people and injures more than 1,200. Below are the dangerous habits drivers can have, listed in order from least to most dangerous.
10. Eating and Drinking– As accidents and spills can happen (i.e hot coffee on your lap, stains on your clothing, etc), drivers face a potential domino effect where impaired attention plus an unexpected event lead to loss of control.The solution would be to eat before or after getting behind the wheel.
9. Applying Makeup or Grooming– All but a small percentage (between 2 and 3 percent) of the population experience a noticeable decline in performance when they try to do two or more things at once.
8. Tending to Pets– To avoid distraction, the best way to transport your pets are by making sure they are secured.
7. Keeping an Eye on the Kids– According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, passengers are ranked by drivers as among the most frequent causes of distraction. Young children are four times as distracting as adults, while infants can be a whopping eight times more distracting, the AAA Foundation reports.
6. Driving While Drowsy– Nearly 41 percent of drivers say they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point or another, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The NHTSA estimates drowsy driving in the United States causes 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
5. Onboard Electronics and Entertainment– Regular and satellite radios, iPod adaptors and navigation systems can all be deadly digital devices, in the wrong hands.
4. Rubbernecking– At 55 miles per hour (88.5 kilometers per hour), a car can cover half the length of a football field in about 4 seconds. So while your attention is focused elsewhere, there’s plenty of time for a cell phone-occupied driver to cut in front of you without looking.
3. Texting and Social Media– Distracted driving accidents, including those caused by the use of handheld devices, collectively form the No. 1 killer of teens, according to the NHTSA and others.
2. Daydreaming– If you’ve ever let your mind wander and missed your exit on the highway — then considered swerving across several lanes to catch it — you’re probably aware of the risk posed by daydreaming.
1. Talking on the Phone– Driving under the influence of a cell phone, be it handheld or hands-free, impairs driver reaction to the same level as being at the legal limit for blood alcohol content of .08.