For many Cincinnati residents, driving is something that must be done in order to get from one place to another. In a sprawling city there are few other options that allow individuals to move as freely or efficiently as driving a personal vehicle. However, driving is not without problems and risks, and unfortunately when a driver takes to the road they are at the mercy of others’ attention and care.

That is because not all drivers place the same effort on keeping themselves and others safe while operating their motor vehicles. For some, driving is a secondary activity that they do while trying to accomplish other tasks. This post will discuss 5 of the most common driving distractions that draw drivers’ attention away from the road and create dangerous situations that can lead to accidents and injuries.

1. Electronics: The Problem of Texting and Driving

Texting and driving happens when a person uses their phone to send a text message while they are operating their vehicle. The act presents obvious risks since texting requires a driver to both look away from the road and to manipulate keys to write their message. Many states, including Ohio, have banned the practice of sending text messages while behind the wheel.

Text messages are not the only communications-based action that drivers can perform while in their cars. Making phone calls, using phone-based GPS systems, responding to emails, and attending work teleconferences are all dangerous uses of cell phones that can cause individuals to drive while distracted.

2. Food and Drinks: Eating While Behind the Wheel

Many people choose to eat meals or drink beverages while driving. For some it is a way to save time or may be a necessity if they are running late. However, eating and drinking can be major distractions to drivers when food falls on the floor, drinks spill, and drivers try to clean up after themselves while on local roads and highways.

3. Grooming: Personal Care Should be Done at Home

Similar to eating, grooming is an action that some drivers attempt to do in order to save time and put forth their best faces when they reach their destinations. From putting on make-up to shaving to even getting dressed, grooming and attending to one’s personal appearance is something that should not be done while operating a moving vehicle. The distraction of grooming may prevent a driver from avoiding a potentially preventable collision.

4. In-Vehicle Distractions: Managing Passengers and Pets

Just as items and electronics can distract drivers, so too can the living passengers and pets who ride along with them. A misbehaving child or dog may draw a driver’s attention away from the road, just as an entertaining story from an adult rider may cause a driver to laugh and lose control of their vehicle. Riding with passengers can be dangerous if a driver cannot maintain focus while operating their vehicle.

5. Practically Anything Else

The sad reality of distracted driving is that practically anything can cause a driver to stop watching the road. Reading books, watching movies, reviewing work documents, playing games, and other entertainment and business-related activities can lead to distracted drivers and dangerous accidents. No matter the cause, distracted driving is dangerous and can result in serious motor vehicle accidents.

When an individual becomes the victim of a motor vehicle accident they should be aware of their options for seeking the recovery of their losses. This post does not provide any legal advice, but readers are encouraged to learn more about distracted driving-based litigation through consultations with personal injury attorneys.