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3 tips for avoiding getting hit by a driver who's texting

You might not think it's easy to avoid collisions, but the reality is that it can be. Drivers who are distracted are fairly obvious if you know the signs to watch out for. Additionally, there are steps you can take to make yourself a safer driver, so you greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Here are three tips that can help you avoid a collision with a driver who is texting. Texting is the most hazardous distraction, but with the right knowledge, you can prevent collisions.

1. Watch the driver's actions

The first thing you should do is monitor the way the driver is acting. Is the person weaving in and out of traffic? Do they suddenly slow down or speed up? Do they go off the side of the road and suddenly correct? These are all signs that they're distracted in one way or another.

When a person texts, it takes their eyes off the road for two or three seconds, at least. What's more shocking is that 95 percent of texts are read within three minutes of being sent, and it takes people around 90 seconds to respond on average. If the driver is texting, they're likely thinking about something else and are highly distracted.

2. Look for their hands

If you are stopped or see the driver in the vehicle, check for their hands. If only one is on the wheel, the other might be holding a phone or doing another action. Most people, when focused on driving, use two hands to control the vehicle.

3. Remember to stay alert when you're behind the wheel

There is no way to completely prevent the actions other people take. However, you can take steps to change your own. You should always make sure to pay attention to the road, keep both hands on the wheel and avoid distractions.

If you are likely to be distracted by someone calling or texting you, turn your phone onto silent. That will make it less likely that you'll hear your phone ring or buzz, so you stay focused on where you're driving and not on the conversation you've been having.

If you absolutely must text or answer a call, wait until you can pull over and stop. It may not seem important, but stopping reduces your chance of getting into a crash almost completely. That keeps you and those around you safer.

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