Drivers need to pay full attention to the road as they navigate through traffic. A distracted motorist can pose a threat to you while you drive, possibly crashing into you and inflicting serious injury. Many forms of distracted driving exist, some of which are better known to the public than others.
Driving while texting is one of the most commonly discussed forms of distracted driving. However, drivers may distract themselves in other ways. Moneygeek explains certain actions people may take in their vehicles that could distract them from what is occurring on the road, describing several studies that reveal these dangerous driving habits.
Consuming food and drinks
If you have felt tempted to have a cup of coffee with you as you drive, you are far from alone. Many drivers eat or drink behind the wheel, but eating while driving is also one of the more common types of distracted driving. The NHTSA explains that eating as you drive boosts your chances of getting into a car crash by 80%.
Grooming while driving
Sometimes drivers may take a moment to groom themselves. Women may apply makeup and some men comb their hair while they drive. While studies have not reached a consensus on the exact danger posed by grooming while driving, researchers generally agree that drivers should not take the risk.
Putting on clothing
In addition to grooming, young drivers may change their clothes while driving. 27% of teen drivers in a Journal of Transportation Safety & Security study said they had changed shoes and clothing while they were driving. While changing clothes can serve as a distraction, it can also keep your hands from the steering wheel as you change garments, making it difficult to drive.
Driving with pets
You might notice a dog inside the window of a passing car. Some drivers love to take their pets with them on a drive, but driving with a pet can also serve as a distraction. According to an AAA survey, a third of its respondents stated that a pet in their vehicle distracted them as they drove. This happened even if the pet was not on the lap of the driver.