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Common causes of distracted driving

Distracted driving is a major factor in vehicle fatalities and serious roadway injuries. As reported by Star Local Media Mesquite News, mobile-device distractions and inattention contributed to more than 350 Texas deaths and close to 98,000 crashes in 2019.

Texas law prohibits reading, writing or sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle. Accordingly, turning off a mobile phone can help reduce the risk of distracted driving. A motorist can, however, experience distraction by other means than a call or text message.

Distractions do not always come from mobile phones

Eating food or applying makeup requires a motorist to take a hand off the steering wheel or focus on something inside the vehicle. A serious or fatal accident may require no more than a few seconds of inattentiveness.

Checking a GPS system for directions is another way a motorist’s attention could shift from the road. Moving or bending while driving could also result in an accident if it causes a driver to take his or her foot off the brake.

Apps and DVD players can compete for attention

Using an app to change a music program or radio station can pull a driver’s attention away from the road ahead. A motorist should consider it safer to wait until stopped at a light before making any changes to an app. Drivers who prefer using them may find it less distracting to control their music with an app-enabled wristwatch.

Portable DVD players make it easy for passengers to watch movies, but sudden loud noises may interfere with a driver’s focus. Requesting passengers to wear headphones can help to avoid noise distractions from backseat video watchers.