"The results were disturbing," Doug Smith, senior vice president of personal lines at Erie, said in the statement. His company advises letting incoming calls go to voicemail and pulling over to send text messages.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety advises drivers to stay focused on the dangers of the road by playing the "what if" game and asking themselves how they would react to unexpected events on the road. Motorists should also identify and overcome any diversions that are responsible for daydreaming, the group said on its website.
"Treat driving as a complicated task requiring your full attention," the foundation said. "Remember 20 complex decisions are needed for every mile you drive."
The U.S. Department of Transportation declared April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month as part of its effort to help motorists focus on the road. Geico, the car- insurance unit owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), advises drivers to shun food as well as phones when on the road, and to limit the number of passengers inside the car.
Among the biggest distractions for drivers are rubbernecking, talking with other people in the car, eating and moving an object in the vehicle, such as a pet, according to Erie's statement.