Given that it's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month many studies regarding safety while operating a motor vehicle have been emerging. And while texting might be the most popular culprit these days to blame for distracted driving, a survey of police report data by an insurance group found one to be far more deadly -- daydreaming.
The Erie Insurance Group in Pennsylvania found that of the 65,000 people killed in car crashes from 2010 and 2011, one in 10 were distracted driving cases.
"Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely," Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines at Erie Insurance, said in a statement. "We looked at what law enforcement officers across the country reported when they filled out reports on fatal crashes and the results were disturbing. We hope the data will encourage people to avoid these high-risk behaviors that needlessly increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash."
The number one reason for fatal crashes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System data caused by distracted driving was being "lost in thought" or daydreaming, comprising 62 percent of the accidents. Texting and other phone-related distractions were responsible for only 12 percent of the crashes.
Other distractions on the top 10 list below these two in rank included rubbernecking, fiddling with a device like a GPS gadget, eating and other people in the car.
Watch KTPV's report about the findings:
The insurance group recommends safety precautions like letting calls go to voicemail and pulling over and parking to text, if necessary.