3 Surprising Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors in Washington State

While cell phone use is a well-known form of distracted driving, there are some surprising sources of distraction that may lead to auto collisions. Intense emotions, dogs, and kids all affect a driver’s ability to focus on the road.

By now, most people are aware that using a cell phone while driving can threaten the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road. Every year. distracted driving contributes to thousands of auto accidents involving injuries or fatalities across the country. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to pursue and secure compensation from the at-fault party that can help to cover the costs of your recovery. Let’s take a look at some unconventional distractions that may contribute to negligent or reckless driving practices that could lead to a collision.

1. An Agitated Emotional State

Some people take to the car to cool off after a heated argument. Or, perhaps you’ve just received devastating news and you are driving somewhere while struggling with intense feelings of loss or sadness. Someone’s emotional state can influence their driving behavior, with one study finding that driving while angry or sad can increase your risk of crashing by nearly tenfold. It’s best to avoid driving when you’re in an agitated emotional state, and if you’re struck by a driver who appears aggressive, angry, or distraught in some way, you may assume that their emotional state contributed to their poor driving behavior in some way.

2. Dogs Roaming Free in the Car

Many people drive with their pets in the car. According to one recent survey, 84 percent of pet owners said they had driven with their pets in the car— but only 16 percent said they used a pet harness or restraint system while the car was in motion. This means that most pets are free to roam throughout the vehicle, sometimes resting in the driver’s lap and demanding attention. Dogs can threaten the safety of your driving, as they may accidentally engage the parking brake, block your view, or otherwise divert your attention from the road ahead.

3. Babies and Kids

Transporting kids is an inevitable aspect of being a parent. However, having kids in the car can become a big distraction, especially for those with infants or young children. One study found that children are 12 times more distracting to drivers than cell phones are. In fact, it’s estimated that the average parent takes their eyes off the road for approximately 3 minutes and 22 seconds during a short 16-minute trip. From responding to children’s questions to feeding them snacks, parents at the wheel face a variety of potential distractions.


If you’ve suffered an injury in an auto accident in the Vancouver, Camas, or Portland area, contact Henderson Taylor Law Firm at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a knowledgeable and friendly personal injury attorney today.