Signs of Distracted Driving


Even as more and more states pass laws against the use of cellular phones while driving, it certainly seems like there is a story on the news every day about a traffic accident that was caused by distracted driving. However, did you know that talking on the phone and texting are not the only forms of distracted driving? Any sort of "multi-tasking" can cause you to become distracted from the task at hand- DRIVING- and leave you, other drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians in peril.  It only takes a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road to lead to catastrophic, life-changing results.

In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,450 individuals. From their study--

In 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.

During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Those stats are shocking and sad.  Let me stop now and apologize if this blog brings up any bad memories for any readers who have had their own lives impacted by distracted driving. For that, I am sorry. This is simply the means to disseminate information and act as a public service. God bless any and all who have been affected, and my prayers go out to you and your families.

There are some warning signs, however, that you may be able to notice that may give you heed and help you avoid a subsequent crash and/or injury.

Veering to the Sides of the Lane

If a vehicle is near you and veers from one side to the middle and back, this is a good sign that the driver is either drunk, distracted and is a danger on the road. Keep a safe distance. If possible, you can always get a description of the vehicle and license plate number, again if possible, and call the local police in that jurisdiction. Of course, you'll want to pull off the road and park your vehicle before performing such tasks. 

Erratic Braking

A distracted driver will often brake in an unusual and erratic fashion. This is due to the presence of lights and movements to the distracted driver, or what he/she perceives from his surroundings while not paying attention to the road. If you notice this behavior, please keep a safe distance to avoid a collision. 

Taking too Long at Red Lights

Too often, you will notice a red light turn green, but a number of cars simply stay put and idle. This is because the drivers are not paying attention to the road. We are inundated by emails, texts, and calls to our cell phones, kids screaming in the back seat, tuning the radio to find your favorite song/program, checking out your Maps app to discover the reason for a traffic jam, etc. However, all these tasks take your eyes off the road. Remember, driving is priority number one. You are in control of a 2,000-pound hunk of steel. If you are not in control of your vehicle, something bad can and will happen. 

Wearing Earbuds or Bluetooth device

Motorists wearing earbuds or Bluetooth devices are not paying attention to the road and driving. They are either listening to music, a book on tape or talking on their phone. They are ensconced in something else other than driving.  While studies conflict as to whether or not listening to books on tape actually help or hurt your awareness, I would suggest that the use of earbuds is a distraction. There are a number of states that have outlawed the use of both earbuds while driving, so I assume there is at least scientific evidence to correlate the harm of wearing dual earbuds and its effect on driving.     

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, then you need to employ the services of a licensed, qualified car accident attorney as soon as you possibly can. Here at the Snable Law, we can help you fight for the compensation for the lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering that you are entitled to under the law. Give us a call for a free consultation with an attorney at (205) 939-0780 today.