Cellphones are not the #1 cause of distracted driving, not even close. It may sound difficult to believe but the fact is that cellphones are a convenient rally point for the distracted driving movement. The real #1 cause of distracted driving is much harder to address.
What Is It?
According to a study from Erie Insurance, daydreaming or “becoming lost in thought” causes more than 63% fatal distracted driving accidents. By comparison, cellphone use makes up a lowly 12%.
Insurance companies aren’t the only ones to notice this trend. More recently in Georgia, for example, state authorities found that distracted driving made up just 10% of all accidents and of those accidents, cellphones were only a factor 14% of the time. Put another way, in Georgia, cellphone use was the primary factor in less than 2% of all car accidents. That’s because daydreaming is the real culprit.
How do We Prevent It?
There’s no easy way to prevent daydreaming while driving. It takes mental focus and a willingness to keep your mind on the road and actively snuff out distractions when they appear. The problem is, as we previously discussed, that almost everything represents a cognitive distraction.
This isn’t an issue that’s easy to target with catchy campaigns. It’s an issue that each driver must take deliberate steps to address.
Sometimes this can be done by avoiding other distractions that cause daydreaming. For example, try to avoid listening to your favorite music while in the car as it makes you more likely to faze out while you’re caught up in the lyrics.
While cellphones aren’t the main cause of distracted driving, they can weigh on your mind and make you fantasize about the latest notification buzz, even when you can’t see the phone. For that reason, it might be better to put them on do not disturb or turn them off altogether.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, we are here for you. If you'd like to discuss your case with an experienced Easton car accident attorney from Meshkov & Breslin to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (610) 285-1963.