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The biggest type of distracted driving isn't what you think

If someone asked you what the most common type of distracted driving was, what would you say? Odds are you would simply hold up your smartphone. You know that drivers get distracted when they make calls, send texts, browse social media and much more. The phone is a very common distraction that gets a lot of press.

Let's be very clear: It's important not to let the phone distract you behind the wheel. It is a serious issue. It's nothing to take lightly. However, it is not the most common type of driver distraction. That issue is much simpler: daydreaming.

Lost in thought

Believe it or not, drivers who start daydreaming cause an incredible amount of distracted driving accidents. In one study reported on by EHS Safety News America, a full 62% of distracted driving accidents happened because people became lost in thought.

Where does smartphone use rank? It was very high, placing second on the list. However, it also only accounted for 12% of the accidents. It's an issue, to be sure, but the gulf between 12% and 62% is massive, literally encompassing half of all distracted driving accidents.

Types of daydreaming

Drivers become lost in thought for many reasons, and it means they generally fail to pay attention to the road ahead of them. Rather than seeing the stopped traffic ahead in a construction zone and slowing down, for instance, they don't realize traffic stopped at all until the last second. They slam on the brakes, but it's too late to avoid rear-ending that next car.

There are different types of daydreaming depending on why the person is driving. A businesswoman who is heading home from the office might not stop thinking about everything she did that day and what she needs to do the following day.

A construction worker may find himself thinking of how to get the job done on schedule when he arrives. A teenager may be thinking about a fight she had with a significant other. A parent may start thinking about how to pay the bills or when to pick the kids up from school or when to run errands during the busiest time of their life.

The point is that nearly anyone has something to get distracted by. They have something to think about. When they start to feel bored behind the wheel, it's all too easy for their mind to wander. That's when they become an even bigger threat than almost any other driver on the road.

Your legal options

If you get involved in an accident with one of these drivers, you may end up with lost wages, medical bills and other costs. Make sure you know what legal options you have in Colorado to seek out compensation.

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