The Top Five Reasons for Distracted Driving

Driver gets distracted while driving making a phone call and directing his attention to the passenger.
At the Roeser Law Firm, we do everything we can to ensure our clients will receive the compensation they deserve.

Distracted driving keeps a motorist from focusing on the road, leading to different accident types, all of which can have catastrophic consequences. This puts the driver and everyone else who shares the road with them at risk. Today, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of roadway injuries and fatalities. It is important for drivers to understand how even a moment’s inattention is dangerous when operating a 4,000-pound vehicle. Let’s delve into the meaning of distracted driving, the impact of this behavior and how to stop it.

How Distracted Driving Causes Catastrophic Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is considered driving while distracted. There are different types of distraction, which include:

What Is Distracted Driving?

  • Cognitive distractions: This type of distraction involves thinking about something else while driving. Whether focusing on a project at work, dinner plans or picking the children up at school, the driver is distracted. Even if the amount of time their focus is diverted is small, it can have a tremendous impact on driving safely.
  • Auditory distractions: When a driver hears something that takes their attention away from operating the motor vehicle, this diversion can lead to an accident. For instance, the sound of a police or ambulance siren or a loud crash can startle the driver and cause them to look away from the road.
  • Visual distractions: Looking away from the road ahead is a surefire way to cause a crash. While reading and sending a text is the number one example of this type of distraction, other actions such as looking at a passenger during a conversation, playing with gadgets in the vehicle or rubbernecking are also dangerous. 
  • Manual distraction: It is crucial for a driver to keep their hands on the wheel. However, reaching for a sandwich, writing a text or grooming activities all require manual distraction. This might lead to the inability to slow down to avoid an accident or control the vehicle. 

Top Driving Distractions

When it comes to driving distracted,  the most frequently involved problems are listed below. Each can have the same end result, which is an accident. They are:

  1. Texting: This activity is the top offender and involves three major categories of distraction – manual, visual and cognitive. It is little wonder that 48 states and Washington, D.C. have made it illegal to text and drive. In the five seconds it takes to send or read a text, a vehicle going 55 mph travels the length of a football field. Annually, 1.6 million car accidents happen because someone is texting, including 14 percent of all fatal crashes and more than 390,000 injuries.
  2. Adjusting the radio, GPS or climate control: It is much safer for a driver to make adjustments before they leave on a trip. Doing it while driving often leads to a catastrophic crash.
  3. Talking to passengers: Having a long discussion with passengers is another major form of driving distracted. Keeping the conversations short and maintaining visual focus on the road is a much safer way to proceed.
  4. Looking for an item in the car: Once again, this activity requires cognitive, visual and manual diversion. It is much better for the driver to wait until he/she can pull over before looking. 
  5. Rubbernecking: When a driver takes his/her focus off the road to look at an event in an adjacent lane such as a car accident or a police stop, it is called rubbernecking. This is a major cause of distracted driving.

Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers

At the Roeser Law Firm, we do everything we can to ensure our clients will receive the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been in a car accident due to distracted driving, call (202) 660-4070 to set up a free case review to make sure a negligent party will incur the financial cost of your injuries. 

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070