Avoiding Distractions While Driving

On a typical day, more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes. Electronic devices, chatty passengers, eating food, and distractions outside the vehicle tend to be the biggest ways that a driver’s attention is diverted from what really matters … the road in front of them. How can you avoid distractions both inside and outside your vehicle in order to maintain safety? Read on to find out more about preventing distracted driving moments.


Distracted driving may be one of the most easily preventable accident situations on the road. While it is absolutely true that injuries and fatalities are increasing each year due to distracted driving, it is just as accurate to say that individual drivers can do the most to play their part in decreasing these sad statistics.

What are the Top Ten Distractions?


In order to prevent accidents caused by distracted driving, it is important to monitor your driving habits and the environment in your vehicle. The National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are many distractions going on inside a car. Here are the top ten:


  1. Passengers in the car talking, singing, or fooling around.
  2. An object that is moving within the car, such as a fallen drink, ball, or items packed for the drive.
  3. Using a device brought into the car, such as a smartphone or radio. Texting is one of the top causes of accidents as of late.
  4. Eating or drinking.
  5. Adjusting audio or climate controls.
  6. Using devices or controls to operate the vehicle.
  7. Smoking-related.
  8. Adjusting seating or automobile settings.
  9. Noises within the car.
  10. Lack of experience with the features of the car, causing a driver to search for signals.

How to Avoid Distractions

Now that you understand the large amount of items and people that can take your mind off the road (even for a few seconds), you can better prepare before heading out. Here is a quick checklist of things you can do before you start driving to maintain strict attention to the road and the cars around you.

  • Secure all objects before you head out. This means any items that you have brought in the car with you should be stored away for safekeeping. Things that could get loose while you make a turn could be extremely distracting.
  • Make all seat and mirror adjustments before you start the vehicle. This includes setting the stereo to a station and ensuring that you know where all the features are such as a turn signal, wiper blades, and emergency controls.
  • Store your electronics in a safe place so you are not tempted to text or make phone calls while you drive. If you must make calls use a Bluetooth speaker and install a hands free system.
  • Avoid having rambunctious passengers. Young drivers especially are at risk of being distracted by a conversation, singing, or following around when friends are in the car.
  • Wait to drink, eat, or smoke until you can pull over and take a break.
  • Always pull over if you feel drowsy or lightheaded.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing when operating a commercial vehicle is to allow for your full attention to be on the road and the other cars around you. Being aware of conditions of the surface, weather-related events, and other drivers on the road is critical to getting to your destination safely.