Houston residents have to deal with distracted drivers all the time on the interstate and highways. Approximately one-quarter of deaths in auto accidents are attributed to driver distraction.

So what is so important that it diverts the motorist’s attention from the all-important task at hand — driving? While almost anything might distract drivers at least momentarily, it turns out there are some common culprits:

Daydreaming: The number one cause of driver distraction turns out to be the driver’s own thoughts, as 62 percent of fatal collisions involving distraction are caused by motorists who are lost in thought behind the wheel.

Cellphone usage: Few will be surprised to learn that 12 percent of fatal distraction-related car accidents are caused by drivers using their cellphones while driving.

Outside people, items or actions: Rubbernecking at accident scenes or checking out people on the street or driving other vehicles is the reason for 7 percent of distracted-driving wrecks.

Passengers: Drivers talking and interacting with their passengers account for 5 percent of distracted-driving accidents. Picture a mom turning around to discipline her children and running into the car ahead of her.

Reaching for something in the car: Two percent of crashes occur when drivers attempt to grab something out of reach in the vehicle.

Adjusting the sound system, heater or AC controls: Another 2 percent of distracted-driving crashes happen when drivers fiddle with something on the dashboard.

Drinking and eating: Almost everyone is guilty of doing this while driving. Still, 2 percent of fatal collisions are attributed to this distraction.

Operating controls within the vehicle: A very small percentage of fatal accidents are caused by drivers adjusting their mirrors, seatbelts, seat positions, etc.

Smoking: One out of 100 wrecks is due to a driver smoking a cigarette.

Moving objects: An underreported distraction that leads to wrecks is having pets loose in the vehicle. Same with random bugs that fly in the window and scare drivers.

As you can tell, most (if not all) driving distractions are completely avoidable. If you’re injured in a wreck with a distracted driver, you may want to take legal action to recoup your financial losses.

Source: Safestart, “Top 10 Causes of Distracted Driving—and What They All Have in Common,” accessed May 04, 2018