Distracted Driving: Dangerous Habits

The Katy auto insurance professionals at RMC Insurance have a refreshing approach to customer service. We believe that disseminating high-quality information about car insurance is the best way to provide the most value to each client. Well-informed drivers often take our defensive driving recommendations seriously, but their information should be updated periodically. As the motor vehicle landscape changes, the habits of the drivers should also adjust accordingly.

Primary Causes of Distracted Driving

The only way to navigate the new driving environment is to become aware of the newest threats to driving safely. These threats are often clustered under the umbrella term of distracted driving. Various new distractions have been recently introduced to motor vehicle drivers via the technology revolution. Some car insurance companies consider distracted driving to be a risk metric at the same level of severity as drunk driving. In a way, distracted driving might be even more dangerous than drunk driving because of the lack of any viable legal deterrence.

Eating and Electronics

Eating while driving may seem like a benign activity, but it is surprisingly dangerous. This is especially true when handling hot beverages like coffee or unwrapping food from containers. It only takes a moment of distraction to miss an important road hazard, and there is something about being burned by a hot beverage that lends itself to removing one’s eyes from the road.

Since the technology revolution, new forms of communication are now commonplace, but many people still do not perceive the danger of using these electronic devices while driving. Texting while driving is very popular among teenagers, but many of these young drivers do not even recognize the severity of the hazard. Texting can causes drivers to lose around five seconds from their conscious awareness. A vehicle can travel quite a distance during that time, and it is surprisingly easy to run into something. As a result, more teenagers are now killed because of their texting habits than because of underage drinking. Cell phones and other on-board entertainment systems are also hazardous when used by drivers of any age.

Grooming, Pets and Kids

Grooming while driving is something that is not unique to one gender, but people often pay more attention to women applying cosmetics than they do when men comb their hair. Any activity that is not directly related to driving puts everyone on the road at risk, so all grooming should be avoided. Even while fully stopped at a red traffic light, grooming can distract the driver from noticing a change in the color of a stop light. Many people are slammed from behind in this situation, for drivers who see a green light may be unable to process the image of an unmoving car fast enough to avoid a rear-end collision.

Pets and children are not aware of the amount of concentration required of a safe driver, so they often cause distractions without realizing it. It is the responsibility of the driver to secure all animals and limit their ability to jump out of the window or onto the front seats. Driver fatigue is another common risk, and animated billboards always try to get as much attention as possible.

People do not normally think about the risks of distracted driving with the same gravity as they might when considering the risks of intoxicated driving. In fact, many drivers are still unclear about the definition of distracted driving. There are many reasons why a driver’s eyes may leave the road; all of them will expose the driver to a potentially hazardous situation. Any time a driver is unable to remain engaged in avoiding road hazards, a collision could occur.


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