Distracted Driving: A Look at the Most Surprising Causes

At this point, everyone is aware that texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. However, that’s not the only reason for distracted driving! There are a number of causes that a lot of people will find surprising. 

Let’s look at some of the most surprising causes of distracted driving:

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: Doing It While Distressed (Sad or Mad)

If you’re going through something and your emotions are high, don’t hop in the driver’s seat just yet. Cool down before getting onto the highway. A recent study showed that angry, sad, or agitated drivers increase their accident risks by nearly tenfold. The study ran over a period of three years, amidst 1600 crash events.

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: The ‘Call of Nature’

Are you traveling long distances? Make frequent bathroom stops. In 2011, one hospital study concluded that severe bladder pain while driving has the same effect on focus and judgment as 0.05 blood-alcohol content. Letting your bladder stay full to bursting for too long will be very counterproductive as you drive.

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: The Children

Researchers found that kids in the back seat can be four times more distracting than adults. In addition, researchers found that infants are eight times more distracting, and it takes an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds for parents to get their eyes back on the road after taking them off for a trip lasting 16 minutes.

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: Trying To Get Something From the Backseat

Put everything you need in the passenger seat. Or have someone with you that can just hand you things you might need from there. A study showed that passengers had a nine times greater chance of having an accident if they reached behind them.

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: Your Dog

According to a survey, about half of pet owners allow their dogs to sit in their laps while driving, and roughly one-fifth admit to feeding them or giving them treats. To keep your pets safe and make sure they don’t distract you while you’re driving, put them in a kennel or seatbelt harness before you hit the highway.

Top Surprising Cause of Distracted Driving: Your Favorite Tunes

Studies have shown that the type of music you listen to and the volume you play can affect how you drive. In an Israeli study of 85 teenagers, new drivers who played their favorite songs loud were much more vulnerable to mistakes and misunderstandings. In contrast, teens who listened to random soft songs (easy listening, soft rock, light jazz, etc.) reduced their poor driving behavior by up to 20%. 

This is not to say you can’t rock out or sing while driving. Just turn down the volume and make sure to pay attention to the road ahead.


When a driver is distracted, they leave themselves susceptible to accidents that can be fatal. This life-threatening situation also has surprising causes. The top ones include: driving while sad or mad, children and even rocking out loudly to favorite tunes on the road.

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