Put down the coffee and drive: Unexpected driver distractions

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Car accidents |

Often, drivers feel the need to multitask while behind the wheel. Whether it is catching up on phone conversations or having a snack on the way home after work, numerous types of distractions tempt drivers. With many of these distractions, drivers hardly ever recognize them as dangerous.

While some distractions, including texting and communicating over email, are seen as dangerous because the attention is so completely removed from the road, there are other activities that drivers attempt not realizing the hazards they face. Here are three unexpected driving distractions:

  • Dining and driving: Even though the convenience exists for drivers – drive-thru food and numerous cup holders within easy reach – dining and driving is a serious distraction. From drinking a travel mug of coffee on the way to work to grabbing a snack on the way home, these activities pull the driver’s eyes from the road, hand from the steering wheel and focus from the task at hand.
  • Pets in the car: Taking your pet to the park for some exercise or the veterinarian for a check-up is often a necessary task that drivers must perform. Unfortunately, a pet in the car can represent a serious driving distraction. The pet might excitedly jump back and forth across seats or visit various windows to sniff outside. Additionally, a nervous pet might sit on the driver’s lap while the driver talks to soothe the animal. Any of these activities will hurt the driver’s ability to safely navigate the vehicle.
  • Audio system distractions: A driver’s audio choices can be an unexpected distraction. From listening to a deeply emotional playlist and listening to loud, energetic music to taking the time to manipulate the audio system itself, this activity can pull a driver’s focus and attention from watching traffic on the road and piloting the vehicle around other cars.

Some distractions put the driver in obvious danger on the road. Other activities, however, represent a more commonplace task that carries a more hidden danger. Drivers are wise to focus strictly on their primary task without attempting to pass the time by doing other things.