It is not uncommon for drivers to make an attempt at multitasking while behind the wheel. Whether it is returning phone calls on the way home after a long shift at work, or having a text conversation with a friend about an upcoming project while on the way to school, activities that clearly take a driver’s focus off the road can result in serious collisions. Unfortunately, some activities are so common that their status as driving distractions is completely hidden from view.
Here are four driving distractions you didn’t see coming:
- Dining and driving: So many drivers decide to eat or drink while behind the wheel that it is hardly seen as a distraction. In fact, car manufacturers place numerous “cup holders” within easy reach to encourage this activity. Unfortunately, dining and driving takes the eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel and attention off the surroundings.
- Adjusting safety features: Whether it is a long trip or short commute, it is not uncommon for drivers to adjust the numerous safety features of the vehicle. From the position of the seatbelt and the brightness of the interior dash lights to the mirror placement and speed of the windshield wipers, drivers willingly pull their attention away from the road in the interest of enhanced safety – only to make themselves unsafe.
- Adjusting comfort features: Drivers might also find it necessary to adjust music volume, cabin temperature, seat warmers or seat position while operating the vehicle. Even these small movements can take focus and attention from the road as well as a driver’s hands from the steering wheel.
- Cognitive lapses: It is not uncommon for a driver to “daydream” or “zone out” while behind the wheel. Playing back a prior interaction, for example, or thinking about an upcoming date might seem like a pleasant way to spend a boring drive, but these activities quite obviously remove a driver’s mind from the primary task. If you have ever arrived at your destination with little recollection of the steps needed to get there, you are guilty of cognitive lapses.
Drivers must do everything they can to stay alert while on the road. From minimizing distractions to avoiding drowsy driving, drivers not only make themselves safer, but ensure the safety of everyone sharing the road. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by a distracted or negligent driver, do not hesitate to seek monetary compensation with the guidance of a personal injury attorney.