Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Driving requires an incredible amount of focus and anything that reduces that focus can lead to a vehicle crash. Common distractions for drivers include texting, eating, grooming and talking to passengers. It’s important to always be alert for distracted drivers on the road so that you can avoid getting hurt. Here are some signs of a distracted driver:
Headphones in Use
If you see a driver wearing headphones, it is important to be cautious around him or her. Even if the headphones are hands-free, the driver may still need to touch a screen to dial a phone number or change a song. Doing these seemingly simple tasks can still distract a driver from the road and increase the risk of an accident.
Drivers who are distracted by something may not be able to slow down fast enough when the vehicle in front of them hits the brakes. If you notice a driver slamming the brakes suddenly when the vehicle in front of them stops, that person is likely not focusing on the road.
Slow Response Time
Drivers who are not completely focused on the road may react slowly to situations on the road. For example, they may take several seconds to move forward on a green light or stay at a stop sign for too long.
Difficulty Staying in a Lane
When drivers are looking down on their lap or dashboard instead of the road ahead, they may have trouble staying in the same lane. If you see a driver drifting in and out of lanes frequently, he or she is likely distracted by something else.
Driving Too Fast or Too Slow
Drivers who are preoccupied with other tasks may not be paying attention to the speed limit. They may drive too fast or too slow or change their speed frequently for no reason.
Not Turning Smoothly
The way drivers make turns can let you know if they’re distracted or not. Drivers who steer with only one hand because they’re using their other hand to do something else are more likely to make abrupt turns.
Avoiding Distracted Drivers
If you notice that a driver is distracted, it is best to keep your distance from the person. Whether you slow down and let the driver pass or speed up to get away, maximizing space between you and the driver will keep you safe. Also, make sure that you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts. If an accident can’t be avoided, wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of serious injuries and death.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Schedule a consultation with a Maine car accident lawyer today to discuss your case in detail. He or she can determine if you have a strong case and advise you on the best way to move forward.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at David Bate Law Office for their insight into car accidents.