You employ safe driving habits every time you get behind the wheel. Though you can control your own actions as you drive, you cannot control outside factors, including other drivers. Thousands of car accidents occur because of distracted driving in the United States.
Distracted driving refers to when a driver engages in behaviors that draw their attention away from the road as they drive. These may include using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, or fiddling with a radio or GPS.
When a driver does not pay full attention to the road, they could cause a vehicular accident. As you drive your own car, you might encounter a distracted driver. It is important that you know what to do. Read on to learn more about actions you can take if you see a distracted driver.
Notice Warning Signs of a Distracted Driver
Knowing the warning signs that a fellow driver on the road is distracted can help you maintain safety and control of your own vehicle behind the wheel. If a driver goes too fast or too slow, changes their speed unexpectedly, weaves in and out of their lane, or stops for too long, the driver might be distracted.
Even brief distractions that draw a driver’s attention for a few seconds could be very dangerous. You might not know the extent of the driver’s distraction. But if you spot any of these erratic driving behaviors, you can adjust your own driving accordingly to remain safe.
Assume the Other Driver Does Not See You
If you suspect a car near you on the road is driving distractedly, you should act as a defensive driver. Because the driver likely has their attention drawn elsewhere, you should assume that they do not see you. If they are not aware of the traffic around them, they likely do not know you are there either.
Do not try to sneak or speed past them, as they will probably not see you attempt this maneuver. This could result in a car crash.
Create Distance from the Driver in a Safe Manner
Once safe to do so, you should create and maintain distance between your car and the vehicle of the distracted driver. With enough space between you and that other car, you will be less likely impacted by their erratic driving. You can have enough time to adjust to sudden changes in their speeds to avoid a collision.
You can pass the driver with care when you can without creating another road hazard. If this is not possible, try to get out of the way by slowing down or pulling over in an unobtrusive manner. This will allow the care to get further away from you.
If the distracted driver’s behavior poses a safety risk to other drivers or you cannot avoid them, call 911 and report them. Reckless drivers could hurt themselves as well as others and will need to stop as soon as possible by the proper authorities.
Do not engage or attempt to stop the driver yourself. If you do get into a car accident and intend to file a personal injury claim, contact an attorney to review your case, like Attorney Big Al, Law Office Of Richard Klein, before you reach out to your insurance company.