Driver Distractions

Articles and Summaries


  Oct 2021:  Distracted Driving – Overview & Guidelines

     Distracted driving, perhaps surprisingly, leaves experts in various fields debating precisely what it is.

     In this article, DSA editor Eddie Wren focuses on many points raised at last week’s First International Conference on Distracted Driving (Toronto). She lays out some detailed guidelines for drivers. Click here to view.

  May 11, 2021:  They may realize that it’s not safe, but

most Washington state drivers admit to keeping one eye and

one hand on a meal while driving, according to a new poll on driver distraction.

The full article, including drivers’ danger ratings.

Distractions for drivers fall into two basic categories: inside the vehicle and outside.

Inside the car are several apparent distractions and others that many people tend not to think of in this light but can also cost lives. These include:

  • Using a cell phone (even hands-free)
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Tuning the radio or changing a tape/CD
  • Applying makeup or shaving (or both?!)
  • Glancing at a map or directions
  • Looking at a navigation system
  • Trying to make notes
  • Glancing at the kids in the back seat
  • Having music on too loud
  • Having an unconfined (or leashed) pet that can reach the driver
  • A heated discussion with a passenger
  • Looking for controls or switches in an unfamiliar vehicle
  • Feeling unwell or stressed

Distractions outside the car can range from tongue-in-cheek:

To the more mundane (but equally dangerous):

  • “rubbernecking” at an accident scene
  • seeing friends in another vehicle or on the sidewalk
  • “window shopping” as you pass a store
  • looking at scenery