Top Driving Distractions Listed - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/05/04-Tyler

Top Driving Distractions Listed

We've all seen it and many of us are guilty of it: Distracted drivers in a rush on the road.
A recent study lists the top 15 driving distractions and number one on the list might surprise you.

From the moment you sit inside your car, you buckle up, check your mirror, place your hands on the wheel, you think you are taking all the safety precautions, right? However, your biggest danger on the road might just be you.
Virginia Commonwealth University recently published a list of the top driving distractions. KLTV went to the streets to talk to drivers about the list. Here's the break down:

At number 10, adjusting the controls in your car.

Number 9: Snack time in your ride can mean a big uh oh, so watch out. According to the study eating and drinking while driving causes 4 percent of accidents.
"On occasion I've been known to do that," said Roger Carr of Tyler. "I try not to."

Daydreaming or just flat out not paying attention, numbers 8 and 7.

You don't like the song on the radio or you want to listen to a new CD, be careful, you could end up singing a sad tune, 7 percent of crashes result from adjusting the radio or changing a cd or cassette. That's number 5.

So what's next on the list?
"I would think it's children," said Sherri Mulder, "children in the back seat doing God knows what." Sherri's right, coming in at number 4 is your gabby side passenger or the screaming tantrum from your two year old. Mom Mandy Lovelady said she could vouch for the study. She said her son Chase can start quite a stir in the car.
"He's probably the biggest distraction just because I try to keep him happy when he's upset as far as just being a mom," Mandy said.

East Texas is known for its beautiful landscapes, but stopping to admire the pretty flowers could hurt you, it's number 3 on the list.

Driver fatigue is number 2.

So East Texas, pop quiz: What is the number one driving distraction? Those KLTV spoke to on the street all said cell phones. Sorry, all wrong. Cell phones aren't even in the top 5, it's number 6 on the list.
The answer: rubbernecking, looking at a wreck or something on the roadside causes 16 percent of crashes.
"Oh yes, we've been guilty of that," said Sherri Mulder and Jennifer Wallace.

Rounding out the list of driver distractions were weather conditions, insects or animals striking or entering the vehicle, reading while attempting to drive or medical or emotional impairment.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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