Can you spot a distracted driver?

While you may know that you should keep your focus on the road when driving, not every driver is as focused on the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving injures around 400,000 people every year, and many of those injuries are fatal. Spotting distracted drivers before their distractions put you in danger can be vital in protecting your safety. What signs should you look for to spot a distracted driver?

Is the driver swerving or drifting?

One of the first signs of distracted driving is often an inability to stay within the lane or make subtle adjustments. If a car on the road is drifting toward the center line or the shoulder, the driver might not be paying attention. A sudden adjustment could also be a sign that a driver’s focus is not on the road.

Are they using a cell phone?

As the National Safety Council notes, cell phones are one of the top distractions that steal drivers’ focus from the road. If you see a cell phone in a driver’s hand—or if you see the telltale glow of a phone illuminating their face at night—then you may want to take care.

Is the driver’s posture hunched?

If you notice that driver with a hunched posture, it could indicate that something in their lap has their attention. Some drivers may keep their phones too low to be visible through their windows, while others may have food resting on their lap, but anything that keeps their focus off the road could put you at risk.

Are they eating food?

Eating while driving is a common way people try to save time, but it can also become a significant distraction source. If you notice a driver with a sandwich in hand, that meal may have their attention more than the road.

While identifying signs of distracted driving and driving defensively can help you protect yourself, not every accident can be prevented. If a distracted driver caused an accident that injured you or a loved one, you might want to explore your legal options and how you can hold drivers responsible for their actions on the road.