Three main considerations affect how safe you are on the road. The first is a combination of weather and overall road conditions. The second is the behavior of other drivers. You don’t have control over either of these two factors that could lead to a crash.
However, you have control over your own vehicle and driving decisions, which make up the third set of road safety considerations. If you want to prioritize safety on the road, trying to adjust your driving habits for current road conditions is a smart move. So is learning to identify when drivers near you might increase your risk of getting into a serious crash.
How to identify potentially impaired drivers
Impaired drivers don’t operate at their full ability. While they may normally be skilled drivers, chemical or medical impairments have decreased their driving ability. Exhaustion can have a similar effect, making it harder for someone to pay attention to the road and maintain control over their vehicle.
Some of the warning signs of impairment include drivers going far under the speed limit, suddenly stopping, erratic behavior or swerving for no reason.
How to keep an eye out for distracted drivers
Spotting someone distracted at the wheel could potentially save your life. They might not notice when you turn in front of them or when traffic comes to a stop. Their decision not to focus can cost someone else their life.
One of the most obvious telltale signs of a distracted driver is the glow of their phone from near their steering wheel. You might also notice that they only have one hand on the wheel or aren’t holding it at all. Someone’s face pointed down into their lap is also a warning sign of distraction.
Slow drifting could be a sign that someone wants to keep their vehicle straight but is not looking at the road in front of the vehicle. You might also want to watch for people who are obviously fighting with someone else in their vehicle or singing along to the radio. Eating is also a distraction risk.
When you spot either a distracted or impaired driver, giving them as much space as possible can help keep you safer on the road by avoiding people more likely than others to cause crashes.