What Distracts You While Driving and Tools to Avoid Them

April 15th, 2024

person driving while texting

Dangerous driving habits are on the rise, with the most predominant one being distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,308 people were killed by distracted driving in 2022. But did you know distracted driving isn’t just texting and driving? Any activity that takes your attention away from safe driving is considered distracted driving.

Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, educate yourself about some of the most common driving distractions and the tools you can use to avoid them.

Cell Phones

According to NCSL, over 80% of Americans use their phones while driving, making cell phones one of the most significant distractions. This widespread usage highlights the need for increased awareness and stricter regulations surrounding distracted driving behaviors. Texting, calling, or even checking notifications can divert a driver’s attention away from the road, significantly increasing the risk of accidents and endangering the lives of both drivers and pedestrians alike.

Car Controls

Some of the most common driving distractions, such as adjusting your vehicle’s radio, GPS, and air conditioning controls, are often overlooked. The advancement of in-vehicle technology — touchscreen interfaces and multifunctional displays — has introduced additional complexities to distracted driving. While these advancements make getting around easier and more comfortable, they often require more extensive attention and manual manipulation than traditional controls. Drivers may attempt to perform secondary tasks, such as searching for a specific song or inputting an address into the GPS, while simultaneously navigating traffic, increasing the likelihood of errors or lapses in judgment.


Whether engaging in a fun conversation with a passenger or giving attention to a passenger who needs care, your attention may shift away from the road. Additionally, children in the back seat can introduce additional challenges while driving, such as retrieving toys, adjusting seat belts, or addressing their needs. All of these interactions demand the driver’s attention and can lead to potential problems.

Eating and Drinking

Though eating and drinking may not seem like harmful tasks while driving, they can pose significant risks on the road. Attempting to eat and drink while operating a vehicle can lead to spills and messes or may require taking one’s eyes off the road. Moreover, eating or drinking requires manual dexterity, potentially causing drivers to take one or both hands off the steering wheel.

Tools to Avoid Distractions

Since driving distractions are so common and may feel unavoidable, there are tools you can use to help you keep your focus on the road.

Cell Phone Blocking Apps and Technology

With the help of innovative technology, multiple apps and features within your smartphone, such as OnMyWay, Drivemode Dash, and AT&T Drive Mode, will auto-disable text, call, and other alerts when it senses you’re driving. Apple users can take advantage of the Do Not Disturb feature, which automatically turns on when a user’s iPhone senses it is in a moving vehicle or connects to a car via Bluetooth. When this feature is turned on, it prevents text messages and phone calls from coming through. Other apps like Safe 2 Save incentivize safe driving by offering users rewards for more time tracked of undistracted driving.

Car Safety Features

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to avoid distractions, there are certain emergencies you simply can’t ignore. To help prevent potential accidents, make sure your car’s safety features are on. These features include automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance. While paying attention is the best way to stay safe, these features can reduce the likelihood of accidents when distractions become unavoidable.

All it takes is a split second for a driving distraction to end in tragic results. In addition to these tools, you can listen to tips on how to limit distracted driving. Educating yourself and loved ones about these hazards and using today’s innovative technology can significantly decrease your chance of getting into an accident.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates today by calling (215) 953-5200. We provide free case evaluations.

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