As an injury attorney, I see many accidents caused by distracted driving. Here are some of the biggest distractions:
•1. Passengers. Passengers are distracting, especially to teens who sometimes tend to look at their passengers as they talk. Teen distraction by other occupants is the reason why they are limited under the current Tennessee graduated driver's license scheme. Children seeking attention are particularly distracting to parents driving.
•2. Cell Phones. However used, some amount of attention is diverted, if only momentarily, to the phone. In Tennessee, it is not yet illegal to talk on the cell phone while driving. Dialing a hand held is akin to texting. Some states require hands-free usage only. This still requires mental attention.
•3. Texting. Texting while driving is among the most dangerous activity. This is thought to be because it requires your eyes, your fingers and your mental attention. It is thus impossible not to look away from the road on a non-hands-free system. On average, a person looks away about four seconds per text. At 60 miles per hours, this takes you down the road a football field length or so!
•4. Grooming. Lipstick application, grooming and mirror-checking is best left to stop lights.
•5. Eating and drinking. It takes some attention to grab and dip each fry. I have even seen a guy eat a large bowl of cereal on the interstate.