We’re sure anyone from Texas who is reading this is overly familiar with the fact that there is an abundance of distracted drivers on the road. Whether you see drivers chowing down on their way to work, replying to an urgent email in traffic, or just outright paying more attention to the party going on in their backseat than they are to the road ahead, driving distracted is one of the most dangerous things someone behind the wheel can do. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been documenting the dangers of driving distracted, and they are beginning to believe that it may end up becoming even more dangerous than driving under the influence.
“The most dangerous thing about distracted drivers is that they are a danger to themselves and those around them, and there is nothing you can do about it.”
While this statement is true in the sense that you can’t always see a distracted driver coming, and there are accidents that happen that may be completely out of your control, there are still opportunities to help make your travels safer. The best way to do this is to become the best defensive driver you can.
Defensive driving– Driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.
By understanding how to spot and avoid a distracted driver, you will be able to keep yourself and your passengers as safe as possible, regardless of how negligent they are being.
Spotting and Avoiding the Distracted
When we hear the words “distracted driver” we often think of someone picking up a cellphone and texting or emailing while they are behind the wheel. While cellphone usage is the number 1 cause of distracted driving accidents, there are many other forms of distracted driving to look out for. Because of this, we recommend looking for signs of impairment in the suspected’s driving patterns.
Signs that a driver may be distracted include:
A slow response time – If a driver is distracted, their attention will be elsewhere. The easiest way to look for slow response times is when moving from a stoplight or stop sign. If a user is distracted they will often be slow off the line.
Speeding (both too fast and too slow) – Because their attention is away from the road, distracted drivers often have a hard time keeping track of their speed, causing them to either go far above or much lower than the posted speed limit.
Swerving outside the lane-lines – This is the holy grail of distracted driving. If an individual is distracted (or driving under the influence,) they will have a hard time keeping track of their position in their lane, which will cause swerving. Be sure to stay clear from anyone you see swerving.
Inconsistent movement – Another telltale sign of distracted driving is seeing inconsistent movement. This may be accelerating quickly at times only to brake harshly at a stoplight. This is often due to distractions that take the driver’s eyes away from the road, causing them to see changes in the environment too late—resulting in them having to act quickly and erratically to adjust.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
While driving distracted doesn’t always end in an accident, choosing to do so is an act of selfishness that puts others in danger. A distracted driver is essentially saying that whatever they are doing that’s causing the distraction is more important than the well-being of others around them.
At The Stewart Law Firm, our team of Texas distracted driving accident attorneys has been helping those injured seek the compensation they often need to return to their prior lifestyle. If you’ve been injured we would love the opportunity to discuss your case over a free consultation.
Call us today at (512)271-5112 to learn more.