Steering Clear of Distractions: Causes of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a significant concern in today’s fast-paced world. The allure of technology, combined with the demands of modern life, often leads drivers to divert their attention from the road. Unfortunately, even a momentary lapse in focus can have devastating consequences. In this blog post, we will explore common causes of distracted driving and delve into the importance of staying attentive behind the wheel.

Mobile devices

In recent years, mobile devices have emerged as one of the leading causes of distracted driving. The temptation to check messages, make calls, or scroll through social media while driving can be irresistible. However, using a smartphone behind the wheel not only takes your eyes off the road but also demands manual and cognitive attention, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

Multimedia systems

Modern cars are equipped with sophisticated infotainment systems that offer navigation, music, and other features. While these systems enhance the driving experience, they can also be distracting. Adjusting settings, searching for music, or entering navigation details can divert attention from driving, leading to potential hazards.

Eating and drinking

In our busy lives, it is common to grab a quick meal on the go. Unfortunately, eating and drinking while driving can take your hands off the wheel and divert your focus from the road. Spills or choking incidents can quickly turn a seemingly harmless activity into a dangerous distraction.


Engaging in conversations with passengers can be enjoyable, but it can also lead to cognitive distraction. Heated discussions, animated gestures, or even laughter can divert a driver’s attention, reducing their ability to react to sudden changes in traffic.


Some drivers attempt to groom themselves while driving, whether it’s applying makeup, shaving, or adjusting hair. These activities demand both visual and manual attention, creating a hazardous situation for everyone on the road.


Daydreaming is a more subtle yet equally dangerous form of distraction. A wandering mind can cause drivers to miss crucial traffic cues, such as traffic lights, stop signs, or merging vehicles.

External events

External events, such as accidents, roadside incidents, or eye-catching billboards, can easily capture a driver’s attention. However, focusing on these events instead of the road ahead can lead to collisions or near-miss accidents.

Adjusting controls

Making minor adjustments inside the car, such as changing mirrors, adjusting the climate controls, or fiddling with seats, can momentarily divert attention away from driving. While seemingly harmless, these actions can have serious consequences.

Using maps or navigation

GPS and navigation systems are valuable tools for reaching destinations efficiently. However, relying on these devices without practicing responsible use can cause visual distraction and take attention away from the road.


Driving while fatigued is a prevalent cause of distracted driving. Sleepiness impairs a driver’s ability to focus, make quick decisions, and react to potential hazards. Falling asleep at the wheel is a serious risk that can lead to tragic outcomes.

The impact of distracted driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that can have severe consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 in the United States alone. Furthermore, the NHTSA reports that sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds, which, at highway speeds, is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded.

Preventing distracted driving

Preventing distracted driving requires a collective effort from all drivers. Here are some best practices to stay focused on the road:

  • Silence your phone – Turn your phone to silent or use a “Do Not Disturb” mode while driving to avoid the temptation of checking notifications.
  • Plan ahead – Eat, drink, and groom before getting behind the wheel. Prepare your GPS and entertainment settings before starting your journey.
  • Secure belongings – Ensure all loose items and belongings are secured to prevent distractions caused by items rolling around in the car.
  • Limit passengers – Minimize distractions from passengers, especially when driving in challenging conditions.
  • Take breaks – If you feel fatigued, pull over in a safe location and take a break or a power nap.
  • Use voice command – If your vehicle supports it, use voice commands for phone calls, navigation, and music to keep your hands on the wheel.
  • Pull over for emergencies – If you need to address an urgent matter or respond to a text, pull over to a safe location before doing so.


Distracted driving is a prevalent problem that requires our attention and action. As responsible drivers, we must understand the reasons why distracted driving occurs and make a conscious effort to avoid any potential distractions. Adopting good driving habits is essential to ensuring the safety of ourselves, our passengers, and other drivers on the road.

However, no matter how careful we are, accidents can still happen, and we may require the help of professionals such as a car accident lawyer in Provo. Therefore, we must prioritize safety above all else when operating a motor vehicle, as every second counts, and the consequences of distracted driving can be severe. Let’s make our journeys safer and more enjoyable for everyone on the road.