When you think of driving distractions, you probably go to the big three: eating while driving, distractions outside the car, and cellphones. While those are all serious distractions, there’s one more that most drivers don’t realize is a distraction at all.
How Loose Items Distract
If you’ve ever had a bag of groceries in the passenger seat, you’ve probably flinched as they clattered and rolled around. Even if you put them on the floor, they still roll around as you stop and accelerate. You might start to worry about damaged goods. That’s a textbook cognitive distraction.
The cans you bought roll around and make a glassy ping as they crash into the bag with olive oil. You take your eyes off the road and see what needs adjusting. Now you’re experiencing both a cognitive and a visual distraction from the same source.
Worried that your groceries might break, you take your hands off the wheel, and lean over to move the bags. Now you are completely distracted. The only thing keeping you safe is a straight road and the focus of surrounding drivers.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
If you’re bringing loose items in your car, you should take a moment to secure them before getting on the road. You might put them on the floor behind the front seats as those spaces are tighter and prevent movement.
Similarly, you might want to put items in the trunk. If you can’t see or react to a rolling item, you might not notice it’s sliding around at all. Plus, there would be no risk of visual or manual distractions. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by distracted driving, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced attorney from Wood Craig Miller to evaluate your claim, please give us a call at or send us an email.