Missouri motorists face distractions any time they drive. Some of these can be more dangerous than others. Today we will take a look at distracted driving statistics, starting with common distractions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examine distracted driving in all forms. They break distracted driving down into cognitive, manual and visual distractions. Drivers may partake in some distractions on purpose, while others are accidental.

Many of the top distractions relate to electronics. This includes checking one’s phone for any reason, texting or answering calls. Electronic distractions are particularly dangerous because they often affect all three above categories.

In-vehicle distractions come next. This includes passenger-related distractions. A rambunctious child in the back seat or a chatty friend can easily take your mind off the road. More extreme examples include leaning over to pick an item up off of the floor. It can even include “common” behaviors like fiddling with your heat or air condition. “Hands-free” devices do not always improve safety either.

External distractions can also cause a disturbance. Usually, these distractions are visual and cognitive. Examples include spotting something surprising on the side of the road. There are often secondary crashes near wreck sites. Drivers become distracted and end up getting into a crash too.

It is impossible for a driver to avoid every single distraction they may come across on the road. The important thing is how they are able to respond to these distractions. Cutting down on the distractions that are avoidable is also important. In doing so, driver safety may improve for everyone on the road.