When it comes to our cars, we often forget we have to share the road with others. It is easy to become distracted or focused on things other than driving while behind the wheel. When we aren’t concentrating on driving, we put ourselves, our families, and others on the road in harm’s way.
Here are four of most dangerous things people do while driving their cars:
Texting has become the fastest growing cause of accidents and vehicular deaths in America over the past decade. A number of states have attempted to ban texting while driving a vehicle. Public service announcements showing crash victims and damaged cars have run nationwide. These ads are quite graphic.
Despite all the effort spent on educating the public, texting continues to claim the lives of teenagers and young drivers. A survey in 2012 showed 50 percent of teens had sent at least one text message while behind the wheel of a moving car.
2. Changing Clothes
As weird as it sounds, a 2010 survey revealed 20 percent of women and 15 percent of men had changed clothes while driving their car. Taking off or putting on clothes while in a car seat can put the driver into awkward positions, take their hands away from the wheel, and remove their focus from the road in front of them.
An online defensive driving in Florida program suggested taking ones hands off the wheel was the biggest risk factor in accident.
3. Eating & Drinking
This activity is surprisingly common amongst drivers in the United States. Nearly 100 percent of Americans have admitted to eating or drinking behind the wheel of the car. In both instances, the driver’s hands are removed from the steering wheel and their focus is not on the road.
4. Talking on a Cell Phone
Talking on a cell phone is different from texting. Even while using hands-free devices, cell phone use has been compared to drunk driving or fatigued driving. A growing number of states have outlawed talking on a cell phone while driving.
Engaging in conversation with someone not in the car puts the driver at risk. They focus on the person speaking instead of the road, causing more accidents. A 2010 study stated talking on the cell phone was the second more dangerous thing one could do behind the wheel. Despite the warnings and laws, people continue talking on their phones.