Distracted driving hurts and kills thousands of people every year, and the prevalence of the issue seems to be on the rise. Simply avoiding distractions yourself won’t be enough to keep you safe on the road. You are still at risk because of the behaviors of other people.
If you can identify people who are likely distracted while driving, you can potentially avoid them and keep yourself and your passengers safer on the road. While you may not be able to spot someone daydreaming, there are a few kinds of distraction you can likely notice even from inside your vehicle.
Mobile phone use
People don’t just use hands-free devices when driving. Many manually use their mobile phones. They have their phone in their lap or they talk into a video chat program with one hand on the wheel and one hand holding the phone.
If you notice someone without their hands on the wheel, someone looking down in their lap or someone with blue light coming up from below their face in their vehicle, you are probably in close proximity to a distracted driver.
Eating and drinking
Fast food restaurants seem to encourage this form of distraction by offering drive-thru service and food that doesn’t taste good once it gets cold. People may eat their lunch while driving back to their office or enjoy breakfast on their way to work. When you spot someone with a coffee or a cheeseburger in their hands, you know that they are not fully attentive to their surroundings.
Arguing or talking expressively
Many people are capable of having calm interactions with their passengers or on the phone while they drive. However, if things become emotionally intense, a driver may struggle to keep their focus on the road.
If you spot someone who looks visibly upset or appears to be shouting in their vehicle, they are likely more engaged in the conversation with their passenger or over the phone than they are on driving safely.
Keeping an eye out for distracted drivers could help you potentially avoid a crash. It could also help you identify who to hold responsible if you get into a car crash that leaves you with injuries or property damage losses.