Which is the Biggest Distraction for Drivers Involved in Collisions?

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which is the biggest distraction for drivers involved in collisions

Which is the Biggest Distraction for Drivers Involved in Collisions?

by | Mar 3, 2023 | Accidents, Auto Accidents

Which is the biggest distraction for drivers involved in collisions? Recent studies have identified distracted driving, particularly the use of mobile phones, as a major cause of collisions on roads across the country. Imagine this: you’re cruising down the highway, singing along to your favorite tune, when suddenly, you hear the loud screech of brakes and feel the impact of a car hitting yours. As you get out of your car, you realize that the other driver was distracted and didn’t see you. Unfortunately, this is becoming an all-too-common scenario on roads across the country. 

According to information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving has become a leading cause of vehicle crashes in the U.S. But what’s the biggest culprit in these collisions? In this blog, we’ll dive into the five most common driving distractions and how they can impact your safety on the road.

Which is the Biggest Distraction for Drivers Involved in Collisions? 

As per research conducted by numerous insurance carriers and governmental oversight agencies, several reasons are attributed to distracted driving. However, all drivers must familiarize themselves with the top five causes of these perilous behaviors:

Cognitive Distraction

Our brains are powerful, and they’re constantly processing information. However, when we’re driving, we need to keep our minds focused on the task at hand. A cognitive distraction takes a driver’s attention away from driving, such as daydreaming or thinking about work. In fact, research shows that 62% of distracted drivers who cause accidents are completely cognitively detached from driving. To avoid this type of distraction, it’s important to stay alert, take breaks when needed, and keep your mind focused on driving.

Cell Phone Use

Since the introduction of smartphones, cell phone use has become one of the most dangerous distractions while driving. Using your phone for texting while driving involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. This means that you’re not only taking your eyes off the road but also using your hands and thinking about something other than driving. It’s no wonder roughly 12% of all distracted driving accidents involve cell phone use. To stay safe on the road, it’s best to avoid using your phone while driving altogether. If you must make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location first.


It’s natural to be curious when we see an accident or other event on the side of the road. However, turning your head to look while driving can be incredibly dangerous. Not only does it take your eyes off the road, but it also increases your chances of colliding with the car in front of you. In fact, about 7% of all distracted driving accidents occur because drivers are looking at things outside their vehicles instead of paying attention to the road ahead. So, to avoid rubbernecking, focus on driving and keep your eyes on the road.

Passenger Distractions

Passengers can be distracted while driving, especially if they’re engaging in conversation, fighting, or causing a commotion in the backseat. In fact, roughly 5% of distracted driving incidents involve drivers paying more attention to their passengers than the road ahead. To minimize passenger distractions, set ground rules before the trip begins. Encourage passengers to stay calm and avoid unnecessary distractions. Then, if needed, pull over to a safe location to address any issues.

Reaching for Devices

Many drivers try to multitask while driving, which can lead to distractions. For example, a driver may try to reach for their phone, cosmetics, or other items while behind the wheel. This type of distraction can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, representing about 2% of all distracted driving accidents. Keep all necessary items within easy reach before starting your trip to avoid this distraction. Avoid trying to retrieve items while driving.

Other Distractions to Watch Out For

Apart from the five most common distractions, there are other distractions that drivers should also be aware of. These include:

  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Grooming or applying makeup
  • Adjusting vehicle controls such as the radio, air conditioning, or navigation system
  • Talking on a hands-free device
  • All of these distractions, whether significant or not, can pose a danger to drivers on the road. Therefore, it is essential to understand that safe driving requires full attention and focus on the road.


Now that we have answered the question: which is the biggest distraction for drivers involved in collisions, how can we avoid it? 

In order to prevent distractions while driving, it is crucial for drivers to maintain focus on driving, drive defensively, and address any distractions only after reaching their destination safely. By recognizing these distractions and taking appropriate measures to avoid them, drivers can ensure their own safety as well as that of others on the road. 

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in a distracted driving accident, seeking legal representation without delay is important. Get in touch with the skilled attorneys at Pacin Levine, P.A. to guide you through the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve. Let’s work together to prevent distracted driving and make our roads a safer place for all. Remember to stay alert and avoid distractions while driving!

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