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Driving Distractions You’d Never Expect

woman reaching for her purse while driving

Common Driving Distractions

When it comes to driving distractions, we tend to focus on eating while driving and texting while driving. These are both important distractions to be aware of, but it’s equally important that we highlight some of the driving distractions you’d never expect.

Talking to Passengers

Car rides can be long and boring, we get it. You don’t want to sit in silence, so you strike up a conversation with your passenger. While this is okay in short bursts, you need to maintain awareness of how it distracts you.

Talking, on its own, is a two-prong cognitive distraction. You’re taking mental energy away from driving to listen to the conversation and simultaneously think of responses. At the same time, hand gestures can create dangerous manual distractions, and establishing eye contact is a visual distraction. Though it may not seem like it, simply talking to a passenger is an especially taxing “triple threat” distraction.

Rolling Items

You go to the store and decide you don’t need a plastic bag. You carry everything in your arms, dump it on the passenger’s seat, and head home. Then your groceries start rolling around.

This is another “triple threat” distraction. When you hear your items rolling around, you dedicate mental focus to thinking about them; you might even focus more on smooth acceleration. You watch your groceries in the corner of your eye, making sure they don’t move around too much, a visual distraction. If anything happens to roll around, you might be tempted to reach out and readjust them, a manual distraction.

Listening to Music

Even listening to music can be a driving distraction. The more familiar you are with the music, the more likely you are to start daydreaming or sing along. Likewise, “aggressive” fast-tempo music has been shown to encourage reckless driving and cognitive distractions when compared to smooth jazz, talk radio, and other calming tunes.

That isn’t to say you can’t enjoy yourself while you’re in the car, just that it’s important to identify driving distractions and recognize when they put you at risk.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a distracted driving accident, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced Modesto car accident lawyer from Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (209) 528-0404.