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How to Identify and Avoid Distracted Drivers

A car being driven by a distracted driver is a danger to everyone else around them. The best way to keep yourself safe is to understand how to identify and avoid them.

Though drunk driving garners more public attention and headlines, distracted driving is right up there as one of the top causes of St. Louis car accidents. When you think about it, this makes sense. Cars are traveling at high speeds, and when somebody takes their eyes off of the road for just a couple of seconds, a crash can occur. If you are ever caught in an accident with somebody you suspect was distracted, your best course of action is to consult a St. Louis auto accident lawyer. If the other driver is distracted, they could be found liable, and you might have a solid case against them. Still, the best-case scenario is avoiding an accident altogether.

st louis car wreck distracted driving

The Danger

Distracted driving should not be taken lightly. The NHTSA has three statistics that hammer that point home. They estimate that 481,000 vehicles are being driven by distracted drivers at any time of day, roughly 390,000 people per year are injured due to distraction, and about 3,500 people are killed every year in these types of accidents.

Identifying Distracted Drivers

You won’t always be able to tell when a driver is distracted, but there are a few common clues that you can look out for.

Looking Down – Instead of looking ahead at the road, a distracted driver is often looking down at their phone. This is often the easiest way to identify a distracted driver.

Swerving or Drifting – A distracted driver will often have trouble staying in their lane. This is because their attention is elsewhere and when they are looking away, they do not adjust their course for the natural curves in the road.

Sudden Braking – If a driver is not paying enough attention, they may not notice a red light, stop sign, or car stopping in front of them. Though this can lead to a crash, they often will see that they need to stop before it’s too late. The result is often sudden braking.

Long Pauses at Intersections – We’ve all run into this situation. You’re behind another driver at a red light, the light goes green, but they don’t move. This can happen at a stop sign too, where a car stops for an excessive amount of time. Being distracted is a common reason for this.

Slow Driving – Though some especially aggressive people drive quickly even when they are distracted, the general trend is that multitasking drivers slow down. If you spot a driver going well below the speed limit, they could be distracted.

It is essential to be alert and aware of your surroundings, including any drivers exhibiting these behaviors. If you suspect a driver is distracted, be alert, give them space, and do your best to avoid them.

Avoiding Distracted Drivers

When you spot a distracted driver, don’t panic or get angry. Neither of these emotions will help you stay safe. Instead, keep calm. The best way to avoid these types of drivers is to increase the distance between you and them. If you spot one, calmly change lanes away from them and create some distance. To drive safely, you should also avoid distractions yourself. This will help you be alert and prepared for any unexpected actions another drive might take.

St. Louis Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

A car being driven by a distracted driver is a danger to everyone else around them. The best way to keep yourself safe is to understand how to identify and avoid them. If you do, you will increase your chances of staying safe. Of course, despite your best efforts, you still might end up in an accident. If you do, talk to a St. Louis car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242
Updated: April 25, 2024