As a motorist, you must do your part to stay safe on the road. Protecting yourself – and other drivers – requires you to account for all sorts of potential hazards. Sometimes, these hazards are other motorists. In 2018, distracted drivers caused over 54,000 accidents in North Carolina. And crashes caused by distracted driving led to 121 fatalities in the state. Since distracted drivers pose serious dangers to those surrounding them, it’s important to know how to identify one.
Signs of distraction
Spotting a distracted driver requires little more than vigilance, so long as you know what signs to look for. Some people think that doing so is as easy as determining whether a motorist is texting or talking on their cellphone. These actions certainly point to distraction. But you may be unable to tell if a driver is doing either from certain vantage points. Other behaviors can identify distracted drivers as well, including:
- Sudden braking
- Speeding up and slowing down in an erratic manner
- Failing to follow the flow of traffic
- Lingering at stop signs or stoplights
- Drifting between lanes or over the center line
- Wearing headphones
If you encounter a distracted driver, the safest course of action is to pass them at the first available chance. Yet, you may have no easy way of getting around them. In this case, you will want to stay behind their vehicle and give them plenty of space. If their behavior poses an immediate danger to other motorists, you will want to pull over and notify law enforcement officials.
No matter how many precautions you take, a distracted driver could still collide with you. In the event of an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the road to recourse.