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Distracted driving involves more than just texting at the wheel

Most trips in your vehicle are uneventful. Although the risk of a crash is always there, it’s easy for drivers to ignore because only a tiny percentage of trips in a vehicle ever involve a close call, let alone a serious collision.

Unfortunately, complacency while driving lends itself to one of the most dangerous habits. Drivers who view their commute as an inconvenience rather than a risk could do dangerous things like speeding. They could also endanger themselves and others by trying to multitask at the wheel.

Almost every kind of multitasking a driver can devise will technically fall under the broad definition of distracted driving. 

Screens are far from the only source of distraction

Many distracted driving enforcement efforts and awareness campaigns primarily look at digital distractions. Most people readily admit using phones while driving is dangerous but increasingly common.

While you probably understand that it is dangerous for you to read an email from your boss on the way to work or text your spouse about plans on your way home, you may not realize that your other habits can be just as dangerous and distracting. Anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your mind off of your environment or your eyes off of the road is a distraction.

Eating a snack, drinking some coffee, conversing with your passengers, adjusting your tie or fixing your makeup are all examples of distracted driving that could cause a crash. Avoiding distraction yourself can help keep you from causing a wreck. Recognizing the signs of distraction in others can help you hold a driver responsible if they cause a crash that hurts you.