32 Distracted Driving Examples and 6 Ways to Defeat Them

Are there really 32 distracted driving examples? Absolutely! Distracted driving is an incredibly broad term. It's not just limited to texting while driving (but experts call that one the "most alarming").

The standard definition, which comes from organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is "anything that diverts the driver's attention from driving."

The problem with that definition is it makes it easy to gloss over or minimize everyday actions that count as distracted driving.

While some things on this list may not seem so bad, others are a little surprising. You can see how easy it is to become distracted behind the wheel.

Some drivers may not even realize they're distracted until they have a close call. That creates dangerous conditions for everyone on the road. The scary part is distraction is frighteningly common ... just see for yourself.

  • From 2010 to 2015, there were nearly 20,000 deaths associated with crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the CDC. That works out to more than 9 deaths every day.
  • In 2015, there were 391,000 people injured due to distracted driving, according to NHTSA.
  • There are an estimated 660,000 drivers using electronic devices each day while driving, according to NHTSA.

With notifications constantly chirping out of our phones and busy schedules that require multitasking, it can be very tempting to use time behind the wheel to do other work.

That's never a good idea. What is a good idea is to get where you're going safely and then carry on. Here are six things you can do to be safer and more focused behind the wheel.

  1. Use your cellphone in emergencies only. And even then, try to find a safe place to pull off the road before doing so.
  2. Use the "do not disturb" function on your smartphone. Tap it on before you put your car in drive to limit distractions from phone calls and texts (don't worry, people can still reach you in emergencies).
  3. Finish eating before you get in the car. That also has the added benefit of helping to keep your car clean.
  4. Start in style. Plan on being fully dressed and groomed before you move your car from its parking spot.
  5. Enlist your passengers. Have them check for traffic, navigate, and choose the streaming station - it's what they're there for.
  6. Get incentives for safe driving. Plymouth Rock's auto insurance customers in Massachusetts can participate in the Road Rewards program. Earn coffee cards, discounts on gas, and movie tickets just for driving safely.

Staying focused on driving is just as important as staying calm. Check out these five tips to curb road rage to help you relax next time you're feeling stressed behind the wheel.

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