Seven Deadliest Distractions While Driving

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Seven Deadliest Distractions While Driving

Distracted-Driver3-300x219.jpgAccording to Erie Insurance’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a nationwide census of fatal automobile accidents maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1 in 10 crashes during 2011-2012 involved at least one distracted driver. Distracted driving is not only potentially harmful to the driver, but to passengers, pedestrians and others on the road.

There are seven major distractions that cause most automobile fatalities in U.S. drivers. Learn which habits to avoid when driving to become a distraction-free driver.


  • Lighting up and disposing of ashes can cause you to take your hands off the wheel. The FARS report found that 1 percent of fatal car accidents cited smoking as the cause.
  • Smoke prior to getting in your car or wait to smoke till arriving at your destination.

Other Occupants

  • Family, friends and pets can be major distractions while driving. According to the FARS report, other occupants in the vehicle attributed 5 percent of fatal crashes to distractions.
  • Ask that your passengers be respectful and courteous to you and kennel your precious pooch.

Hand-held Devices

  • Cellphones, GPS systems, iPods and other hand-held devices take your mind off the road and your hands off the wheel. Many states have banned the use of cellphones while driving, and companies like AT&T have campaigns to battle texting while driving (including The Beattie Law Firm).
  • Leave your cellphone in your pocket or purse while driving and set up your GPS before driving.

Adjusting Car Controls

  • Any activity that takes your eyes off the road for even a split-second can put you and others in danger. Adjusting your review mirror, changing the radio station or cranking the AC can be disruptive.
  • Adjust all controls prior to driving, so all attention can be on the road.

Eating or Drinking

  • Grabbing a quick bite to eat at the Drive-Thru seems like a good solution when on the go, but eating and drinking while driving can be hazardous.
  • Take 15 minutes to eat before or after driving to prevent harmful car accidents.


  • It’s tempting to ogle at roadside scenery or a post-wreck cleanup, but 7 percent of the accidents in Erie’s report were caused by outside distractions.
  • Focus on the road and avoid “rubbernecking.”


  • According to Erie’s FARS, daydreaming is the cause of 62 percent of distracted driving fatalities, which makes daydreaming the riskiest driving behavior in fatal automobile accidents.
  • Focus all attention on the road and avoid detaching from reality.

Avoid doing these seven things while driving to reduce your distraction level and to become a better driver.

If you have been a victim of a distracted driving automobile accident, contact The Beattie Law Firm at 515-263-1000 for a free consultation.