Driving requires all of a person’s attention, but cell phones, passengers, thoughts, outside events, and food and drinks can steal a person’s focus.

Drivers across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country allow themselves to get distracted while in the driver's seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 660,000 people driving use some type of electronic device while behind the wheel. In a single year, 3,477 people were killed in car crashes involving distracted driving and another 391,000 were injured. Learning about the potential distractions auto operators face can help reduce the number of distraction-related accidents that take place on the roads.

Cell phones

Cellular devices often steal the focus of those who should be paying attention to the road. PR Newswire states that 12 percent of distractions are caused by texting, talking and dialing on cell phones. The general use of cells can be distracting, but texting is often seen as the worst activity to participate in while cruising down the road. It requires drivers to look away from the road and remove at least one hand from the wheel.


Not all distractions come in the form of a cell phone. In fact, many inattentive drivers attribute passengers as their disturbance. Something as simple as a conversation can cause someone to look away from the road. Children riding in the car can become a distraction when they need their parent to help them open a snack or stop an argument.


The largest distraction people have when operating a car is their own thoughts. Over half of all distracted drivers, 62 percent, are derailed by their own thoughts. When a person gets lost in a daydream, he or she may be unable to give the road the attention it deserves. While many view distracted driving as the operator taking his or her eyes off of the road, inattentiveness can also be caused when a person's mind is not on driving.

Outside events

Many drivers are sidetracked when they notice something outside of their vehicle. For example, when another vehicle gets pulled over, it could cause passing drivers to turn their heads to watch the action rather than staying focused on the moving traffic. Car accidents, joggers and scenery are examples of other outside events that can steal an operator's attention from the road.

Food and drinks

Finally, food and drinks play a large role in distracting those behind the wheel. When a driver has to remove his or her hands from the wheel to pick up a sandwich or open a water bottle, his or her ability to react to other cars is compromised.

Pennsylvania residents need to keep all of their focus on the road to avoid dangerous collisions. If an accident does happen, it can be helpful to talk with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.