Trying to find out why people were not paying attention to the road and getting involved in some many accidents, even when they weren't actively distracted by things like cell phones, researchers talked to around 1,000 people who had been in car crashes. They reported that about 52 percent of those drivers said they'd just let their minds wander prior to the wreck.
Some have called this the main driving habit that people need to break. They've also noted that the big issue is how routine the drive can be. If you take the same road to work and then back home every day, for weeks and then months and then years, it's easy not to think about it while doing it. That's when your mind wanders, and your reaction time could slow if there's an unexpected change around you -- like the car ahead of you slamming on its brakes.
One of the biggest challenges facing drivers, the researchers who did the study noted, was that they weren't even always aware that they were distracted. If you pick up your phone to read a text, you know you're distracted, and you're choosing to look away from the road. If you start thinking about what you need to pick up at the store or when to get the kids from basketball practice, though, you may not even realize that you've zoned out until it's too late.
As you can see, distraction take all sorts of forms and are heavily involved in modern car accidents. You definitely want to know your rights to compensation if you're hit by a distracted driver.
Source: Prevention, "The Driving Habit You Need To Break," Marygrace Taylor, accessed Dec. 15, 2016