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Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents


One of the leading causes of accidents is distractions while driving. Many drivers attempt to multi-task, which can be a dangerous habit. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured in distracted driving accidents each year, and these accidents are preventable. Despite the fact that these accidents can be stopped, there still are thousands of distracted drivers on the road. Here are some of the most common causes of distracted driving.

Using the Phone

Whether you’re talking or texting, using your phone takes your mind off the road. Even with a hands-free device, carrying on a conversation can decrease brain activity by up to 1/3 in the part of the brain that processes moving images. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 26% of all car accidents involve cell phone use.

GPS and Navigation

It can be challenging to find your way in an unfamiliar area. A GPS device can help you find your destination, but these devices also can be a considerable distraction. Trying to read details, look at the map, or listen to cues can take your mind off the road. Always mount a GPS device where it is easily visible and turn the volume up high so you don’t need to look at it often.

Adjusting Music, Climate Control, or Controls

It may be a move we make dozens of times a day—reaching for the fan control, turning down the radio, or adjusting your rearview mirror. These little motions, no matter how small or practiced, can direct your attention away from the road and cause you to miss important cues that can help you avoid danger.


America has a love affair with drive-thrus. Convenient for our busy lives, many drivers are guilty of pulling through one and heading out onto the road with a burger or burrito in hand. Eating, however, can take your hands off the wheel and attention off the road. Whether you’re adding hot sauce to your taco or inspecting the damage after a drip of ketchup falls into your lap, your meal-on-the-go can cause you to get into a dangerous accident.

Handling Children or Pets

Anyone who has animals or children knows that it can be difficult to reason with them. Animals should be safely secured in travel crates and carriers, but that doesn’t stop drivers from letting them ride on the seat. An animal moving around the cab is dangerous and distracting. Likewise, children can be noisy and cause you to spend more time paying attention to them. You may be calming a tantrum or breaking up a fight, but looking away from the road isn’t worth the quiet.


If you stumbled out the door behind schedule, it can be tempting to use the drive to catch up on your personal care routine. From applying makeup to shaving to tying back your hair, these activities place you at risk of an accident. If you are running late, an accident will only make your problems worse.

Zoning Out

If you’re driving a familiar route, it can be easy to get caught up in making mental notes, daydreaming, or other tasks. It isn’t uncommon to arrive at your destination only to realize that you’ve been on autopilot the whole drive, and don’t remember the events of the drive.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you may be facing a long recovery and expensive medical bills, among other worries. At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, we’ve been strong, compassionate advocates for injured clients since 1999. Our experienced Charleston car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your legal options and fighting for your best interests through every step of your case. Learn how we can help with a free consultation.

Contact our team online, or call (843) 968-0886 today.

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