Too Many Distractions
The kids are arguing, the baby is crying, you're adjusting the radio, and your cell phone is ringing. Any one of these is enough to distract a driver and cause an accident. Driver distraction is a contributing factor in 20 to 30 percent of crashes, according to NHTSA. One of the biggest problems is cell phone use, which is coming under close scrutiny. At any given time, half a million drivers are talking on handheld cell phones. Women driving minivans and SUVs have the highest use rates.
Many communities have passed legislation banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving, but enforcement is spotty, and some experts claim it's not the act of dialing or holding the phone that makes it dangerous, but the distraction of being immersed in the conversation itself.
What to do
Pay attention! Get voice mail so you can turn off your phone, check your messages, and return imperative calls at your next stop. If the kids are misbehaving, causing you to lose focus, don't just threaten to pull over -- actually do it as soon as you reach a safe place.