What Are Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents?


There are many different things competing for one’s attention when behind the wheel. It takes focus, concentration, and dedication to safely drive, but even the most vigilant motorists cannot control how others behave on the road. Recognizing common causes of distracted driving accidents and how you can help prevent one from happening is well worth your time to learn about.


The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that about 1.6 million car accidents each year are caused by distracted driving. Nearly one out of four accidents are caused by texting.

While it is hard to ignore a text notification, reading it or sending a response will take your eyes from the road for at least five seconds. If you are driving 55 miles per hour, this can be compared to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes shut; imagine how much worse that is when speeding.

Eating, Drinking, and Grooming

One reason why drive-throughs are so popular is because people try to save time by eating in their car. While a quick lunch in the driver’s seat can certainly save time, your hands and eyes are necessary to eat and drink. Messy foods are hard to eat in the first place, and eating while steering a vehicle in a confined space is very risky. Spilling a hot drink onto your lap could be even more dangerous.

Another time-saving activity for drivers is looking into the mirror to comb hair, floss teeth, and other kinds of grooming. Some people even try to apply eye makeup while driving.


You might not think that smoking is a distraction, but lighting up a cigarette and putting ashes into an ashtray cause you to take your eyes off the road. Sometimes, burning ashes fall onto a driver’s lap or the floor as well.

Roadside Distractions

Another way that drivers lose focus is the pull of external distractions. This includes everything from a bright billboard to rubbernecking to see a crash on the side of the road.

Car Features

The inside of your car has many features that can be distracting. Drivers are always changing music stations, adjusting temperature controls, and fiddling with other features on their dashboards.

How Can I Avoid a Distracted Driving Accident?

Multitasking while driving is a stubborn habit to break for many people. Here are some tips for breaking the habit:

  • Put your cellphone on Do Not Disturb mode before turning on your car. If you are expecting important messages, pull over after a set amount of time and check.
  • Input your destination into your GPS before driving. Check the weather and traffic reports, and plan alternate timeframes or routes if needed.
  • Set your music and climate controls before leaving.
  • If you must eat on the road, pull over somewhere safe to do so.
  • If you are constantly running late, set your alarm clock earlier so you will have enough time.
  • Keep your pets in carriers, or secure them safely in the rear of the car.
  • Never drive while fatigued or stressed.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Help You if You Were Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident

Giving your full attention to the task of driving is crucial, but you cannot control other motorists. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, consult with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.


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