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Distracted driving involves much more than texting

Despite laws that forbid cell phone use, you can frequently peer into the window of a vehicle and see the driver interacting with their cell phone by either talking, texting, using apps, or browsing the Internet. The fact that all these things are dangerously distracting has been well documented.

But the truth is other forms of distracted driving are even more common than cellphone distractions. This includes things like singing along to the music in the car, dealing with unruly children in the back seat or getting too engrossed in conversations with passengers.

In this post, we will take note of these other forms of distracted driving.

Cellphones are only part of the problem

When a cell phone is used and an accident occurs, it's relatively easy to see the evidence because it is recorded right there in the phone's history. News stories frequently report of distracted driving accidents where cell phones played a role. We can also see for ourselves that a driver on their phone is distracted.

Indeed, a driver may even complain to a passenger how irresponsible the culprit is. Yet ironically, passengers are actually the bigger danger.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, talking to a passenger is the cause of 57 percent of distracted driving crashes. Phone use accounted for just 12 percent of these crashes.

In short, as dangerous as cellphone use is behind the wheel, other types of distracted driving are even more common.

Passengers and the problems they pose

Staying safe and distraction free on the road is the responsibility of everyone in the car. Children should be discouraged from fighting in the car as soon as they are old enough to understand that their misbehavior puts everyone in their car and on the road at risk.

Older passengers, especially adults in the front can lower potential distractions and confusion by serving as navigators and watching for specific roadside exits, leaving the driver focused on the task at hand. They should also take care not to bring up topics that are too serious or controversial as to take away attention from the task at hand.

Making sense of your situation

If you are injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, a personal injury attorney can help you assess your options for seeking compensation.

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