Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Being distracted on the road puts you and everyone around you in danger
  • It’s not a good idea to use your phone while driving
  • Eat your breakfast and drink your coffee before you hit the road

Thousands of car accidents happen every year that could have been avoided by a split second. While it’s natural to become distracted at times, it is equally important to be aware of what distractions are around.

Distracted driving laws have been introduced by many states to help protect the safety of our roads. But even with these laws, drivers are still tempted behind the wheel — impacting thousands of lives.

Unfortunately, it takes a car accident for some drivers to realize how important it is to stay focused on the task of driving without risking the lives of you, your passengers, and others.

Here’s the deal: the less distracted you are, the less likely you are to get into accidents. And the fewer accidents you have, the more likely you are to get cheap car insurance.

Below, we’re diving into the top 10 distractions for drivers. You can also begin shopping rates by entering your zip code in our free car insurance comparison tool.

#1 – Chatting on the Cell Phone

Let’s be honest: most conversations behind the wheel involve mundane matters which can wait until you pull over. But when it’s all said and done, you should avoid using a cell phone whenever driving a car.

The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes annually can be blamed on cell phone use while driving.

Ditching the phone behind the wheel will not only make you a safer driver, but it will also provide some peaceful technology-free moments that are becoming harder and harder to find.

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#2 – Insecurity Check

You put on your best suit or just spent $300 on a haircut to look beautiful. However, the double-check in the mirror before you left was not good enough.

If you feel the need to look in the rearview mirror and comb your hair or put your lipstick on while driving, then it’s probably time to take a look at your life and realize it’s time to slow down a little.

Your hair or lips are not going to look any different if you do it when you stop.

#3 – Children

If you are driving with children in the car, it’s even more critical to pay attention to the road and not become involved in family disputes while risking safety.

If the kids are acting up or you feel like you need to kick some tires, then pull over and settle your issues. Don’t risk personal injury to your children due to your lack of patience.

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#4 – Snack Time

It seems that some people’s cars are also mini-kitchens. But can’t you find 5 minutes to stop and enjoy a quick meal or drink? If you can’t, then you are doing something wrong in life and also exposing yourself to risk every day.

We all laugh at stories about some guy who dropped a piece of lettuce and then caused a ten-car pileup – sadly, however, stories like this are real and happen every day.

Leave the food for the kitchen or rest stop. Not only will your driving skill improve, but so will your waistline.

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#5 – Texting while Driving

The stereotype here is the teenager who continually needs to stay in touch with her BFF even for the 3-minute drive to the store. Trivial as it seems, some teenagers simply don’t grasp the seriousness of putting down their phone will driving. A concept illustrated powerfully in this ad:

But before you think teens are the only culprits behind the wheel, think again. Adults and seniors have all embraced the mobile phone, and texting and driving is the #1 driver distraction in many age groups.

In fact, here are some startling stats:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,841 were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018 alone. And guess what? The majority of those victims were drivers.

These devastating statistics are the reason why more and more states are passing legislation on distracted driving, with many placing a big emphasis on texting and driving. It’s why we suggest drivers do their work and keep up with the newest laws in their cities and states.

#6 – People Watching

Men and women are both guilty of people watching while driving. But here’s what you need to keep in mind: if you look too long, you might not only end up in a car accident but also be rewarded with the title “stalker” on your business card.

#7 – The GPS Lady

Ok, it’s fair to say there is a GPS man also, but do you know anyone who has ever changed the default setting on their navigation system?

While it’s commendable the GPS Lady can tell you where to go; she is not a guardian angel to protect you from a car accident.

Always use any navigation device with caution otherwise your next destination might be the emergency room.

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#8 – Playing Rock Star in your Car

Even with American Idol auditions in town, there is still never an excuse to play with your radio and CD’s while driving. Fun as it may be, rocking out in your car can have serious consequences. Something illustrated well in this commercial:


When it’s all said and done, it might be safer to keep the singing relegated to the shower, and not your car.

#9 – Movie Time in the Car

Eventually, some cars are going to come equipped with popcorn machines. But for now, we merely have to worry about DVD players.

Here’s something that drivers need to remember: many states outlaw the use of any DVD player installed in the front seating area.

In spite of these laws, some people still don’t believe they can live without a DVD player while commuting to work. This kind of dependency can, without a doubt, lead to serious consequences.

These people need more therapy then we can provide here but leave the TV for home unless you want to watch reruns of NCIS in a hospital bed for months.

#10 – Buttons, Switches, and Dials

Maybe you don’t like the song on the radio. Or, you’re feeling cold. So while you’re driving, you begin to reach over and turn the dial. The problem? Now your eyes – and your mind – are off the road.

Harmless as it may seem to change the radio station or fiddle with the A/C, experts remind us that it doesn’t take much to lose focus and end up in an accident.

In fact, here’s what the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration says about taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds: “At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

Your best bet will be to choose the song, set your A/C, and having everything settled before you hit the road. And if you must make changes — pull over.

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Distracted Driving: Final Thoughts

There’s no other way to say it:

Distracted driving is a serious matter that can lead to serious outcomes — including the loss of life.

Your first step to safety? Remain focused while driving, and save the distractions for when you’re not on the road.

Begin your journey to more affordable car insurance today. Enter your zip code below to get FREE car insurance quotes!