Warning Signs of a Distracted Driver

While millions of dollars have been invested into distracted driving prevention campaigns, this risky behavior continues to pose a major hazard on all U.S. roadways. The good news is that learning how to spot a distracted driver can save your life and help you avoid motor vehicle accidents in the future.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to spot a distracted driver. Keep reading to discover the top warning signs that a motorist near you is not focused on the road.

Swerving in and out of Lanes

The number one sign that a driver is distracted is when they start swerving in and out of their lane. A vigilant and attentive driver will stay within their lane, but a motorist whose attention is elsewhere is likely to veer into other lanes from time to time.

Swerving between lanes is extremely dangerous. Other vehicles can strike the distracted driver when they suddenly veer into their lane, or the distracted party may hit another car when they switch between lanes. If you notice someone displaying this type of distracted driving behavior, it is best to either stay behind them or attempt to get far enough ahead of them to avoid them.

Inconsistent Speeds and Breaking

Recent studies show that a distracted driver is likely to reduce their speed by up to 33% when using a hands-free cell phone device. When the driver is distracted by something that is hands-on, it becomes even more likely that they will start to display erratic speeding behaviors.

Another common sign that a driver is distracted is when they start breaking inconsistently. For instance, if they break suddenly without reason or fail to break until the last second, there is a good chance that they are not paying consistent attention to the road.

distracted driving accidentTheir Eyes Are Not on the Road

If you ever happen to glance over at another driver to see why they are driving erratically and you notice they are not even looking at the road, then you know for a fact that they are driving distracted. Most often, these drivers are looking at cellphones, eating food, talking to passengers, or looking in their mirrors.

Traffic Law Violations

Another very common sign that a driver is distracted is when you witness them violate one or more traffic laws. For instance, if you see a driver blow through a stop sign or totally ignore a red light, they might not be paying attention to the road.

Violating traffic laws can quickly lead to a car accident because drivers rely on each other to obey the rules of the road. When a driver fails to obey traffic laws, they put everyone around them at risk.

The Driver is Lagging

Finally, a driver that seems like they are lagging or responding slowly is very likely distracted by something. Recent studies show that getting distracted while driving can reduce brain activity associated with driving by about 37%. Slow reaction times can be a sign that the driver’s attention is split between the road and something else.

When a Distracted Driver Causes an Accident

Being vigilant about the motorists around you and watching for warning signs of distracted driving can help protect you from an accident.

If you were recently hurt in an accident and you think distracted driving played a role, it’s important to understand your rights. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pursue compensation by filing a claim. To learn more about your rights and legal options after a crash caused by distracted driving, speak with our attorneys today.