The Three Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has escalated to one of the most pressing issues on the road today. A quick glance away from the road may seem harmless enough, but that split second distraction is cited as a contributing factor and one of the leading causes of car accidents and resulting deaths and injuries. There are legal ramifications if a distracted driver is involved in an accident and causes injury to others, so it is important to recognize and avoid distractions. 

While there are several distractions that contribute to this issue, a few are more prominent than others. A survey performed by Erie Insurance in 2018 attempted to identify these common distractions in order to gain a better understanding of how to prevent this issue. The following causes of distracted driving were most prevalent in the results of the survey. 


The survey results revealed that the most common cause of distracted driving is daydreaming. This refers to drivers who are thinking about something else, which shifts their focus from the road. It could be as simple as wondering whether you remembered to lock the door to your home or as complex as analyzing an argument you had with your significant other. Of the people surveyed, 61% revealed that daydreaming or becoming lost in thought was the greatest distraction while driving.  

Cell Phones 

It should come as no surprise that cell phone use came up as one of the top three reasons for distracted driving. Texting and driving are a common reason for distracted driving, but there are a variety of other ways your cell phone can be a distraction. This is the reason why many states have passed laws prohibiting use of a cell phone while driving unless it is in a “hands-free” mode.  The survey results reveal that cell phone usage is the second-most common distraction at 14%. You can help make the road a safer place by putting your phone down or, at the very least, pulling over when you need to make a call or send a text. Following a collision, cell phone records are often obtained to prove who was on a call or texting at the time of or shortly prior to an accident.   

Outside Distractions 

Looking out the window at something interesting or when prompted by a passenger to “look at that” have been cited as examples of the third most common cause of distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road to look at something outside your vehicle frequently leads to automobile accidents. The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure that your focus is always on what is in front of you. Don’t let evidence of your distracted driving be used against you to explain why others were injured in a collision. 

If you have been involved in an automobile or truck accident, the insurance company will be looking at your conduct to see if the blame can be put on you because you were “distracted.” For that reason, it is important to have an attorney who is well-versed in handling these types of personal injury and wrongful death cases and knows what to look for when proving fault. 

If you have been injured in an accident, you need someone on your side who will fight aggressively for your rights. Our Personal Injury Attorneys are dedicated to seeing you are justly compensated for your losses and will protect your interests.  

Schedule A Free Consultation Today 

Our Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help you every step of the way with your truck accident, car accident, or other personal injury case. Get started with our firm today. Call our office at 701-237-6983 to schedule a consultation.

H. Patrick Weir Jr. and Jordan Weir, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys