Even if you know how important it is to remain alert when driving, there’s a lot going on around you. This could result in some form of distraction taking your attention away from the road, thus increasing the risk of an accident.

While your personal approach to driving is more important than anything else, you must also keep a close eye on other drivers. You can be as safe as you want, but if another driver makes a mistake, such as taking their eyes off the road, you could be part of an accident.

Here are the most common driving distractions:

  • Daydreaming: Just because you’re driving doesn’t mean your focus is 100 percent on the task at hand. You could be thinking about your child’s baseball game, a big meeting at work or what you’re going to eat when you get home.
  • Cellphone use: This includes everything from texting to talking to checking your email. If you do any of these things, it means you’re not fully focused on the road.
  • Passengers: You don’t always drive alone, so you need to make sure your passengers don’t become a distraction.
  • Adjusting vehicle controls: Maybe you want to change the radio station. Or maybe you need to input a new address into the GPS. With so many controls in today’s vehicles, there’s always something else to touch. If you need to do something that takes your focus off the road, first pull to safety.
  • Eating or drinking: Many people never think twice about doing this, but it’s a big distraction. Not only do you take your eyes off the road when grabbing for food or a drink, but you also remove at least one hand from the wheel.
  • Reaching for an object: This includes things such as food, drink, cigarettes, children’s toys or a map.
  • Smoking: Many people drive when they smoke, meaning they’re only controlling the steering wheel with one hand.

It’s up to you to avoid these common driving distractions. If you’re successful in doing so, you’ll feel better about your ability to prevent trouble.

If a distracted driver causes an accident, move your car to safety and call 911. The responding officer can file a report, while you receive treatment from paramedics and transportation to a local hospital.

As your health allows, learn more about the cause of the accident, your legal rights and the steps you can take to hold the distracted driver responsible for their actions.