Top 5 Causes of Distracted Driving And Ways To Avoid Them

Distracted Driving

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed that a distressing number of 3,142 individuals tragically lost their lives in the year 2020 due to distracted driving. In their thorough analysis, it was revealed that the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle emerged as a prominent factor contributing to distraction, with texting being singled out as the riskiest form of disturbance.

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Professionals mention three main categories of driving-related distractions: manual, cognitive, and visual. Regardless of the vehicle you are driving, be it a Ferrari rent a car Dubai, the best mom car, or any other automobile, all three types present significant risks on the road.

Manual Distraction:

When a person behind the wheel removes their hands from the steering wheel, it means he is manually distracted. It can occur due to consuming food, using a cell phone, smoking, attempting to retrieve an item within the vehicle, etc.

Cognitive Distraction:

This is when a driver’s thoughts stray from focusing solely on the road. It may occur due to engaging in conversation, feeling tired, or getting absorbed in deep contemplation.

Visual Distraction:

Shifting the attention away from the road to focus on another object comes under visual distraction. It may happen due to glancing at a handheld device, modifying the radio settings, changing the GPS settings, or scanning a roadside advertisement.

5 Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Causes of Distracted Driving

Speaking on the phone:

In spite of the widespread knowledge regarding the hazards associated with using a mobile device while driving a vehicle, this behavior continues to prevail. Many believe conversing on the phone while maneuvering, aided by hands-free technology, is a safe practice. Nevertheless, a recently conducted study presents contrasting findings.

Texting and other phone controls:

While using a mobile device for messaging or browsing, diverting your attention from the road, even momentarily, can have severe consequences. At 55 mph, your vehicle covers a distance of 80 feet in just one second. It takes about 5 seconds to read a text message. Within that time, your car could travel the length of a football field before you redirect your gaze back to the road.

Getting ready for the day:

Occasionally, there are instances when you find yourself pressed for time and unable to enhance your appearance before heading out. Regrettably, it appears that certain individuals have chosen to utilize their time behind the wheel as an opportunity to apply final touches, like applying lipstick, tidying up their hair, or even using deodorant. Unsurprisingly, engaging in these actions—where your hands are no longer on the steering wheel, and your attention is diverted from the road—can readily result in road incidents.

Managing Children or Pets:

It is crucial to prioritize safety for both yourself and your loved ones by ensuring they are properly secured when traveling. Regrettably, many individuals still neglect this critical aspect. When pets roam freely within a vehicle or occupy your lap, they inadvertently become sources of distraction. Similarly, parents are well aware that having children in the car can create challenging situations. Children may vociferously demand attention, express their needs, or engage in conflicts, all of which can divert your focus away from the road.

Getting Lost in Thought:

Have you ever found your mind wandering during a long commute or while navigating a well-known path? It’s a fairly typical occurrence. You might even be slightly taken aback when you suddenly arrive at your destination, with little recollection of your steps to get there. Were there any traffic jams along the way? Did you encounter any red lights? You were not fully focused. Engaging in a state of mental “absentmindedness” occurs frequently and poses potential risks, particularly when driving.

4 Tips To Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Stay attentive while driving: Give your complete attention to the road, avoid any distractions, and don’t try to multitask.
  • Pull over for tasks: Only concentrate on driving; if you have to complete a task, safely pull over first.
  • Secure or silence your phone: Place your mobile device in the glove box or back seat to avoid the temptation of checking messages, emails, or calls. If you need to have it within reach, silence all notifications to prevent distractions from making noise.
  • Seek assistance from passengers: If you need to update directions, send texts, search for CDs, or handle any other tasks, ask passengers to assist you instead of attempting to do it while driving.


In conclusion, distracted driving poses significant risks on the road, but there are effective strategies to avoid it. The main causes, such as smartphone use, eating, and multitasking, can be addressed through awareness campaigns, stricter laws, and education. Implementing hands-free technology, establishing designated phone-free zones, and practicing mindfulness while driving are crucial steps in preventing distractions. By prioritizing safety, responsible driving habits can be cultivated, ensuring a safer and more focused environment for all motorists on the road.

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Fatima is a professional chef who is now working from home and taking care of her 4 young ones. In her spare time she loves to cook up something new in her kitchen or take a long drive in her favorite Pacifica Plugin-Hybrid