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Common causes of distracted driving: Avoid these to stay safe

Even though most people understand the dangers of distracted driving, it doesn't stop some from partaking in this behavior. Over time, they begin to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them, so they don't think twice about taking their eyes off the road.

Unfortunately, even a small distraction can result in a serious accident. Here are six of the most common causes of distracted driving:

  • Cellphone: At the top of every distracted driving list, cellphones have the potential to cause an accident in many ways. For example, if you're texting and driving, you're not paying attention to the road. The same holds true if you're chatting on the phone or reading an email.
  • Adjusting vehicle controls: Today's vehicles have more controls than ever before, which increase the risk of a distracted driving accident. From the climate control to the radio, don't fiddle with these things while your vehicle is in motion.
  • Eating or drinking: Even if you do this to save time, such as drinking a cup of coffee on your way to work in the morning, you should think twice about the risk. For instance, if you pick up a cup of coffee, it means you only have one hand on the wheel.
  • Reaching for an object: When you do this, you're taking at least one hand off the wheel. It's also likely that you're not paying attention to the road and what's happening around you. It's best to stop your vehicle before reaching for any object.
  • Passengers: It's common to drive with other people in your vehicle, such as children, your spouse and/or coworkers. And while it's okay to converse, you don't want it to drag your attention away from the task at hand. Let your passengers know that you need to focus on the road to keep everyone safe.
  • Daydreaming: Maybe you're thinking about what you'll do when you arrive home. Or maybe you're worried about a big meeting that you have scheduled during the workday. It's not always easy to focus 100 percent on the task at hand, but daydreaming while driving is a serious risk.

Even if you avoid these common causes of distracted driving, another person may not be doing the same.

If someone crashes into your vehicle, call for help, receive medical treatment, contact your insurance company and implement a plan for protecting your legal rights.

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