Distracted drivers cause crashes because they can’t keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. The few seconds they need to process what has happened near them, like a car braking for a kid with a ball, can mean causing a crash that another, more attentive driver could have prevented.
Even if you have fully committed yourself to avoiding distractions while driving, you are still at the mercy of the behavior of other people whenever you get out on the road. Most people already know that drunk drivers often swerve, make erratic maneuvers and either go way too fast or far under the speed limit, which makes them easy to identify.
Is it possible to identify and avoid someone distracted while driving?
Sometimes, distracted drivers are obvious and visible
Someone dramatically singing along to the radio, turning around in their seat to scream at a child in the back seat or holding their phone up by their wheel is easy to spot. Realizing that distraction involves not just mobile devices but also anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off of driving conditions can help you broaden your search for questionable behavior.
People grooming themselves, eating and even just adjusting the settings on their radio or GPS screen will need extra time to respond if traffic circumstances change abruptly. Watching for people who don’t have both hands on the wheel, who aren’t facing forward or who have that telltale glow of their phones in their lap can give you an idea of who to avoid.
Sadly, not all distraction is visibly obvious
While you can scan nearby vehicles for signs of distraction, you won’t be able to see through darkly tinted windows, see people in vehicles approaching you or notice signs of internal distraction. Internal distraction involves daydreaming, planning the rest of your evening or otherwise mentally focusing on something other than the road. You won’t necessarily be able to spot people engaged in internal distraction or those actively trying to hide their bad behaviors.
If you suspected distracted driving played a role in your crash, looking for evidence that supports that theory and pursuing a claim against the distracted driver can help reduce the impact of someone else’s bad habits on your life.