From flashy billboards to waving hitchhikers, roadside distractions are everywhere. For young drivers, these distractions can be deadly.

According to CAA, distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash.

To help educate you on the dangers of distracted driving, here are 8 common reasons why drivers lose focus behind the wheel:

1)Cell phones. There are laws preventing it, but texting remains one of the biggest distractions to date. When your eyes leave the road, even for a second, you risk missing what’s going on around your car, like a sudden stop or a pedestrian crossing the road.

2)Eating, Drinking and Smoking. You just bought a Big Mac and it smells delicious. Your passengers are gnawing down on fries and chicken wings and your mouth is watering. Resisting the urge for the five minutes it takes you to get home will ensure you get home safely, with both hands on the wheel.

3)Passengers. For young drivers, noisy passengers are a common distraction. New drivers require extra focus, especially when driving at night or in severe weather conditions. With excessive background noise, it’s easy to get distracted.

4)Stereo. Most stereos nowadays are built for maximum ease and convenience. Even so, to operate they involve leaning forward and looking downwards with one hand off the wheel. This motion, vaguely reminiscent of composing a text, turns the driver’s attention away from the road. Certain music, when played too loudly, can also play a role in distracted driving.

5)Grooming. Have you ever noticed people flipping down their visor mirrors and checking themselves out at stop lights? Plucking eyebrows, applying makeup, and poking at pores are all things you might notice people doing while they drive.

6)Daydreaming. Being dazed or lost in thought is another common cause of distracted driving. Lack of sleep or consumption of alcohol or prescription drugs can also be a contributing factor.

7)Roadside Distractions. Who doesn’t stare when driving by a nasty accident on the highway? Colourful billboards, roadside attractions, and wildlife also play a role in taking your eyes off the road.

8)Moving Objects. This can be anything from a mosquito buzzing in your ear to a leaping kitten on your dashboard to a coffee cup flying out of its holder. These happenings are often caused by things out of your control. When driving with animals on board, be sure to keep them secure and in a cage.

As a driver, there is a lot that is simply out of your control. There are a few things you can monitor, however, to reduce your risk of becoming distracted.

For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, or to sign up for driving courses, contact the professionals at Ambitious Drivers.