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How can you tell when a driver is distracted?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Most motorists who travel over Virginia’s roads are safe and responsible, but car accidents still happen. One of the biggest causes of collisions is distracted driving. Although you can’t control what other drivers do, you can learn how to spot those who are distracted.

Signs of distracted driving

You can tell a driver is distracted when they consistently look away from the road. For example, using a hand-held cell phone causes drivers to shift their eyes down and away from the task of driving. You might notice a phone or other device in their hand when they should be looking ahead.

Drifting into another lane is a tell-tale sign of a distracted driver. Unfortunately, it can also lead to a car crash as the person can easily lose control of their steering. Drivers may also have trouble maintaining a consistent speed; you might notice a vehicle traveling at the appropriate speed limit and then too fast or too slow.

Distracted drivers customarily run red lights or abruptly brake while in normal traffic situations. This is because they aren’t paying attention and might realize at the last minute that traffic has stopped or slowed down. Following too closely behind another vehicle can also signify distraction.

Types of distracted driving

There are three types of distracted driving. Cognitive takes a driver’s mind off their driving as they focus on something else. Daydreaming is an example of cognitive distraction.

Manual distractions are those that cause a driver’s hands to touch something other than the steering wheel. Examples include eating and using a hand-held cell phone.

Visual distractions cause a driver’s eyes to shift from the road to something else. For example, looking at a map or checking kids in the backseat.

Any reason for distracted driving can significantly increase the risk of a car accident. If you know how to tell a driver is distracted, you can take precautions to avoid them.