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Top 7 Driving Distractions - Most Dangerous Driving Habits

1. Texting and Talking on a Cellphone

When is the last time you saw a car driven like the drive is under the influence and it happened to be someone talking or texting on a phone? The answer would be today or yesterday if you live in a populated area.

One study found that you are 23 times more likely to cause an car accident if you text while driving, but 77 percent of young adult drivers think they can drive safely while texting.  That's pretty disturbing disparity between the facts and belief by risk takers who are basically holding everyone on the road hostage of serious injury or death.

Talking while driving is not far off in terms of how much distraction it creates if you are driving, whether you hand-held the phone or use hand-free kit.  Several studies found that the brain function is severely compromised, leading to a longer reaction time and cause the driver to miss visual cues in front of them.

A research conducted by University of Utah and AA Foundation confirmed the founding and concluded that certain activities involving cellphone usage  resulted in highest level of distraction for the drivers that they tested.

2. Eating and Drinking

Eating and driking while driving is the most common distracting activity according the a study.  According to a study by PEMCO Insurance poll, 65 percent of drivers acknowledged that they eat while driving.  That number could be noticeably higher if you count in people who drink while driving.

Typically, drinking from a bottle of water, for example, should not cause a  huge amount of distraction but a hot cup of coffee can lead to a whole new level of dangers, and decrease reaction time for emergency maneuvers.

3. Driving while Drowsy

Auto manufacturers have been trying to comabat this problem with high tech devices that can detect drivers who become sleepy or drowsy, but the technology is not perfect and it's only available on higher end new cars as of now.

National Highway Traffic Safey Administration reported nearly 100,00 crashes are caused by drowsy drivers annually, resulting in 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths!  But almost none of these accidents gets enough attention like DUI related accidents.

Drowsy driving is so much similar to DUI driving senario with the difference only being the source of the issue, but with the same outcome

A study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about 2 out of 5 drivers answered having fallen asleep or nodded off while driving in their life time, with 11 percent of those admitted doing so within the past year.

4. Messing with Gadgets, Radio and Other On-Board Electronics

There are too many toys to play around while driving whether they are built into the car or they are portable devices.  Smartphone is like 10-in-1 devices today as it can be used as phone, game machine, email reader, web surfing, texting, GPS, radio, video player, and so on.

The biggest common issue here is that they require the driver to take their eyes off of the road while interacting with the device.  In many cases of auto crashes, all it takes is a split second of delay in driver's reaction time.

5. Daydreaming

The Erie Insurance Group examined 65,000 fatal auto crashes reported to the FARS(Fatality Analysis Reporting System) database in 2010 to 2011. The database is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Researchers discovered that in ten percent of crashes involving a death, distracted driving played a role. And in almost two thirds of fatal crashes where distracted driving played a role, drivers admitted to daydreaming, being lost in thought, or otherwise not paying attention at the wheel. 

“The study shows that distraction is a larger and more complicated problem than just cellphone use and texting,” says Russ Rader, spokesman with the Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Virginia.

6. Watching Roadside Diversions

Roadside diversions can come in many forms and shape. It could be an accident scene, beautiful scenary or a sexy lady walking on the sidewalk.  However,  there have been new types of man-made distractions for city drivers that have gotten a lot of attention.

It's digital roadside billboards.  These high-tech billboards marry the glow of Times Square with the immediacy of the Internet. Images change every six to eight seconds, so advertisers can flash timely messages — like the latest headlines, coffee deals at dawn, a cheeseburger at lunchtime or even the song playing on a radio station at that moment.

The billboard industry asserts there is no research indicating they cause crashes, and notes that the signs do not use video or animation.

But to critics, these ever-changing, bright billboards are “television on a stick” and give drivers, many of them already calling and texting, yet another reason to take their eyes off the road.

Abby Dart, executive director of Scenic Michigan, a nonprofit group trying to block construction of new digital billboards in the state, calls the signs “weapons of mass distraction” and says they can be more dangerous than phones.

7. Distraction Caused by Babies and Kids

This could be one of the worst driving distraction for some, just not as common as the ones covered above.

In a first-of-its-kind study, Australian researchers found that children are 12 times more distracting to the driver than talking on a cell phone while at the wheel. According to their findings, the average parent takes their eyes off the road for a staggering three minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute trip.

When kids are in the car, parents are breaking up fights between squabbling siblings and calming fussy babies. By the way, those babies are eight times more distracting to the driver than adult passengers, according to AAA.

Top 7 Driving Distractions - Most Dangerous Driving Habits Reviewed by Blogs on 9:50 PM Rating: 5

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