Teenagers who flirt with danger by texting and driving may be obvious examples of distracted drivers, but other motorists shouldn't be smug.
As car manufacturers install more high-tech gadgets, those in-dash screens and satellite radios combine with phone calls, noisy children or the bumblebee that just flew in the window to compete for a driver's attention.
The issue of distracted driving became horrifyingly personal in 2006 for author and reporter Martin Spinelli. A car driven by his wife, Sasha, was struck by a drowsy driver; she was killed and their 4-year-old son, Lio, was severely injured.
Spinelli summoned the painful memory in a June 2012 article in The Scotsman: "The moment I saw Lio in intensive care everything just evaporated. My previous life just disappeared and there was just me and Lio in the hospital bed."
What should motorists do to minimize the risks?
Jeff Hickman, a scholar who does research on distracted driving at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, offered this piece of advice: "Turning off your phone is probably best thing to do."
LEARN MORE ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING:
Martin Spinelli with son Lio on ITV's 'This Morning' talking about 'After the Crash'
• 8 tips to stop your teen's texting and driving habit
"Distracted drivers killed more than 3,000 people in car crashes in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration." (MPR)
• Teen driver resists the texting temptation
"You can make a mistake in a split second and regret [it], so texting definitely should not go with driving." (MPR)