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What’s the best way to spot a distracted driver?

Even if you are completely clear that you should never drive when distracted, it doesn't mean that other people on the road are taking the same approach. There will always be people who think it's okay to text and drive, eat and drive or talk on their cell phone.

In some cases it's easy to determine if a person is distracted. For example, you'll look over at them and realize that they are playing on their smartphone.

However, things are not always as cut and dry. Here are some of the many steps you can take to determine if a person is driving distracted:

  • They are floating in and out of their lane of travel. This is a sign that the person does not have his or her eyes on the road, but is instead concentrating on something else.
  • They suddenly brake and accelerate.
  • They don't move away from an intersection in a timely manner, maybe because they are reading a text message instead of watching the traffic signal.
  • They are listening to headphones. This doesn't necessarily mean the person is distracted, but it's something to be aware of.

By keeping your eyes open for these signs, you'll find it much easier to spot a distracted driver. If you have reason to believe that a person is not paying attention to the road, do whatever it takes to keep your distance.

In the event of an accident with a distracted driver, move your car to safety and wait for police to arrive. The responding officer can sort things out. Once you receive medical treatment, you can turn your attention to the accident and how to protect your legal rights.

Source: Elephant, "4 tips to spot a distracted driver," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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