Distracted driving consistently ranks as one of the top causes of car accidents every year. It is an issue that refers to all activities that take drivers’ focus away from operating their vehicles. This could be as basic as observing a billboard for an extended period or something more complex like playing a mobile game on an electronic device. These basic actions may seem harmless, but thousands of people suffer injuries and lose their lives to distracted driving incidents every year.

Fortunately, this is a problem that is often preventable. Staying attentive and avoiding the main causes of distracted driving can help ensure a safer driving experience both for yourself and those that you share the road with.

Cell phones

There may not be a more dangerous threat to your safety on the road than your cell phone. These small devices offer a variety of different features that can distract drivers. Texting tends to make the most headlines, but making phone calls and using applications can be equally as harmful. You can travel a great distance without even noticing when you stare at your cell phone.

Looking down at your cell phone slows down your reaction speed significantly. If another driver unexpectedly brakes or an animal jumps out in front of your car, you will not have as much time to maneuver out of the way. This can leave you vulnerable to a major accident that could drastically alter your way of life. Put your cell phone in a safe place where it will not be a distraction before starting your vehicle to avoid this risk.

Lost in thought

Have you ever reached your destination and been confused about how you arrived there? You may have traveled many miles without being mindful of your surroundings. This lack of attention is what makes becoming lost in thought while driving so dangerous. When you allow yourself to zone out on the road, you are exponentially increasing the risk of getting into a car accident.

If you feel your mind begin to drift, try to refocus your attention on the road in front of you. You can also take small steps like moving your eyes, listening to music or chewing gum to avoid daydreaming.

Outside incidents

Driving can be a very dull activity, which can make it very easy to allow something outside your vehicle to capture your attention. There are a variety of different outside distractions including people, animals, billboards and car accidents. Ironically, the short moment you take to observe another incident on the road could ultimately lead you to get into an accident.

Try to avoid staring at the intriguing events outside your car and concentrate on reaching your destination. You do not want to become the incident that other drivers observe during their commute.