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What Are the Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving?

Man using smartphone while driving the car

Distracted driving has rapidly become one of the biggest dangers on California roadways. Thousands of people are injured in distracted driving accidents across the state every year as drivers choose to text, email, and perform other tasks while behind the wheel. Read on to learn some of the most common causes of distracted driving, and contact an experienced Pasadena car accident lawyer for help after a southern California traffic accident.

Texting or emailing while driving

Texting, emailing, instant messaging, or otherwise playing on a mobile device has become commonplace for drivers in California and across the country. It is, however, an extremely dangerous practice. Safety experts estimate that responding to a text takes an average of five seconds, during which time your eyes are off the road. If you are traveling at 55 mph, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while wearing a blindfold. Some experts estimate that texting while driving is now connected to over 25 percent of all car crashes. Texting while driving is banned in California, and for good reason.

Adjusting the GPS

Many drivers now rely on a navigation device, including smartphone map and direction applications, to get around. Drivers who need to make a change to their destination, adjust their route due to a road closure, or otherwise check something about their route are taking their hands and their eyes off the road. Wait until you can safely stop or pull over to adjust or review your way on a GPS app or device.

Adjusting the radio

Changing the music or other car controls may seem like a quick and simple procedure, but the longer you need to focus on the devices inside your car, the longer you are not paying attention to the road. No matter how quick it may seem, it can be the difference between having a safe, normal ride and getting into a crash.


Many drivers, especially on long trips, will find themselves “zoning out” while driving. Daydreaming while driving takes your attention off the road and will delay your reaction time if you come across a stopped car or any other hazard. Listening to music or some other form of entertainment can help you stay focused, but if it becomes a distraction or if you suddenly realize you cannot remember the previous few minutes (“Did I stop at that stop sign?”), it is time to refocus your attention on the road.

Fixing personal appearance

Drivers on their way to a meeting, a date, or some other important event will sometimes rush out the door before finalizing their grooming routine. Shaving, putting on makeup, doing your hair, or otherwise fixing up your appearance while driving takes your eyes, hands, and attention off the road.

Changing clothes

As odd as it may seem, some people are in such a rush that they change their pants, shirt, jacket, or sweatshirt while driving. It should go without saying, but pulling a shirt over your head or otherwise trying to change clothes while driving is likely to cause a serious accident.

Contact Pasadena Traffic Accident Lawyer Andrew Ritholz

If you were hurt in a distracted driving accident in southern California, consult with an attorney who understands your rights and can protect your interests with dedication and passion. Contact Pasadena car accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.

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