Focusing on the Task at Hand: 8 Things That May Distract a Driver’s Attention

Easily the biggest and most common cause of accident out on the roads occurs when a driver has become distracted by something, and their attention slips off the road and places them immediately in danger.

Of course, if you’re mindful of what these risks of distraction are, you can be mindful to avoid them and to put things in place that stop them from happening. This not only minimizes the risk of an accident happening, but it could also even save your life, and the lives of other road users and people in your vehicle.

It’s not worth the risk. Today, we’re going to explore the top eight distractions that can help to cause an accident, eight distractions you need to be mindful of.

#1 – Cellphone Use

Of course, the biggest distraction, making up around 12% of all distraction-caused accidents on the road, is using a cellphone. Whether you’re on the phone and focusing on a conversation, texting, or even scrolling through social media, just don’t use your phone when you’re driving.

#2 – Reaching for Something

Hand in hand with the consideration above, even the act of reaching for your phone, or anything else in your car, can be enough to cause an accident. This is because you’re focusing on where that object is and how you can get it, not on the road like you should be.

#3 – An External Distraction

Making up around 7% of all distraction-related accidents, an external distraction can be anything from another car, a person walking by or even another accident. Gawking at it from your own car can be enough to make you miss what’s going on up ahead.

#4 – Other People in the Car

If you’ve got a screaming wife or husband, children playing up, friends dancing, singing and shouting at each other, this is all an ongoing distraction that causes accidents, resulting in around 5% of all distraction-related incidents.

#5 – Consuming Food & Drink

If you’re worried about where your crumbs are falling or whether your coffee is sat safely in the cupholder, you’re not focused on the road and your safety.

#6 – Smoking

Around 1 in 100 accidents revolve around someone trying to light or extinguish a cigarette while driving. 

#7 – Adjusting Your Environment

Whether you’re popping out to the shops or you’re going for a long drive, you want to make sure you’re comfortable and settled, which means adjusting certain features like AC, audio or windows. Changing these things are all distractions in their own right.

#8 – Just Lost in Thought

We can all relate to the feeling when we get so caught up in our own head that everything happening around just becomes a blur. Unfortunately, doing this while driving makes up over 62% of all accidents.


With all these causes and distractions in mind, it’s important to realize when they’re taking over your focus when you’re driving, meaning you’ll stop and keep your life. For more information on this topic, or for car accident lawyers offering legal representation if you find yourself in an accident, get professional advice.

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